The community of St. Albert, a suburban city in Alberta, Canada, has taken the next step towards its long pursuit of a smart fare system for the region’s transit buses, according to the St. Albert Gazette.
The city council has endorsed a proposal for a new open transit fare system that enables passengers to pay the transit fare with their debit cards, credit cards or even their smart phones. The cost of the system would be shared by St. Albert, Edmonton and Strathcona County, followed by Edmonton city council’s decision last October to start putting together a business case for an open payment, smart fare system.
Currently, St. Albert uses cash, tickets and passes for fares. The introduction of a open payment system would not only be more convenient for passengers, but it would also allow the region’s transit to gather valuable rider data, which could be used to more accurately co-ordinate service.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is expected to save millions every year when it introduces its own open payments system. Passengers will have the ability to tap their contactless-enabled debit and credit cards, or smart phone equipped with NFC technology, to pay the fare when using bus or rail transit services.
If St. Albert city council adopts the proposed business case in the 2014 budget, Edmonton, St. Albert and Strathcona County implementation would take place in 2015.
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