BC Transit in Victoria Plans Smartphone Fare Payments for 2019

BC Transit operates the bus system in Victoria and a new $21 million upgrade to fare systems is set to modernize payments, beyond cash and paper tickets.

According to Christy Ridout, vice-president of business development for B.C. Transit, she tells CBC News the system would have customers buy fares with a mobile, then scan their phone when going onto the bus.

“The payment industry has come a long way in the last few years and I think we’re really able to take advantage of some of the innovation that has occurred,” Ridout tells CBC News.

BC Transit says if the smartphone fare app is successful, the next goal would be to accept debit or credit card payments for fares.

Why not get a Compass card for Victoria transit riders, like Translink in Vancouver? Ridout says that idea is off the table, as such systems are too complex and costly to set up and maintain.

While not all transit riders own smartphones, buses will still retain cash boxes and payments for fares.

According to BC Transit, they are seeking out providers to implement their smartphone fare payment system, and pegs the launch timeline for late 2019 or early 2020.

BC Transit plans to launch their NextRide live bus tracking app in Victoria this spring.

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