Eight of Winnipeg Transit’s buses have now been equipped with electronic fare boxes, according to Winnipeg Free Press. The Friday installation brings the transit more in line with its much-anticipated roll out of a contactless smart card fare payment system.
Winnipeg will be replacing all of the old fare boxes on its buses with brand new, state-of-the-art validating fare boxes. The $20,000 machines will have automatic coin counters, on-screen information displays, paper transfer printers and readers and the smart card sensors.
The sensors will automatically read the contactless smart cards when they are tapped against the targets on the new fare boxes. The new fare boxes will then calculate and deduct the proper fares from the smart cards. The state-of-the-art fare boxes will only deduct a single fare at a time – even if accidentally tapped twice.
“The electronic fare boxes will be installed on all Winnipeg Transit buses including those used for rapid transit service by early July,” said Tony Dreolini, transit plant manager.
The smart cards system will go online later this year, by December, if not earlier. Until then, transfers and tickets will be accepted manually and riders with passes will continue to show them to drivers.
The entire technological upgrade, originally envisioned in 2003, cost an estimated $17.8 million.
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