July 6, 2017
Imagine using your SmartWatch to tap and pay for a transit ride from St. Albert to Strathcona County. This type of modern electronic transit fare payment system is now under development for the Edmonton Metropolitan Region thanks to a recently signed 15-year Smart Fare contract with Vix Technology.
The Regional Smart Fare System will be available for use on board buses and LRT in Edmonton, Strathcona County, and the City of St. Albert, as soon as 2020. The “tap and go” fare payment system will make paying for transit as easy as buying a cup of coffee. Customers will be able to use their credit cards, debit cards, other compatible smart cards and smart devices. It will also make travel across regions easier for customers since one account can be used on all participating transit systems.
“The Smart Fare approach demonstrates regional cooperation and a shared commitment to using innovation to improve municipal services,” said Gary Googins, Program Manager for Smart Bus and Smart Fare. He noted, “the system design also allows for expansion to other regional transit systems in the future.”
The capital budget for the entire program is $51.6M. The funding is provided by: Government of Alberta GreenTRIP $28.1M; City of Edmonton $18.8M; Strathcona County $2.5M; and City of St. Albert $2.2M.
Vix Technology’s contract includes $31.4M to design and build the Smart Fare technology. Vix Technology will also be responsible to operate and maintain the system on behalf of the participating transit agencies. The remainder of the capital budget covers backend project work and Smart Bus infrastructure for all three municipalities, which is needed to support the Smart Fare system on buses. The Smart Bus infrastructure has already been installed on Edmonton Transit Service and will be added to the St. Albert and Strathcona County transit systems in 2017/2018.
For more information, see Smart Fare web page.