Winnipeg Transit has plans to introduce its long awaited electronic fare system, with the initial phase set to begin rolling out by the end of winter, according to Winnipeg Free Press.
Transit director David Wardrop said the new smart transit card passes will be introduced first for seniors in most likely by the end of March or April. The transit’s traditional paper tickets and passes will be replaced by the $18-million smart card-based system based, where a variety of fare options can be loaded onto the card.
Once the new fare payment system is fully in place, the only other payment options will be exact-fare coins and coin tokens, purchased in bulk and distributed by social service agencies and some schools. Paper tickets will be accepted, but Winnipeg Transit will no longer issue them.
The cards will be available for purchase at Shoppers Drug Mart and 7-Eleven stores, and other select retail stores across the city. The cards will cost riders $5, but the first few that register online and reload their cards within a certain time will receive theirs for free. Riders who register their cards can also recover any unused funds on their card in the event it becomes lost or stolen.
Winnipeg Transit said it will bring other rider groups on board in stages: secondary and post-secondary student riders will likely be included at the end of the school year and before the start of the next semester.