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Greater Victoria buses won't have new tap payment system until spring

The new system, which allows for fare payment via a reloadable smart card, mobile app, mobile wallet, debit card or credit card, was supposed to be introduced this fall.
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B.C. Transit is blaming supply-chain issues for the delay. B.C. TRANSIT

Implementation of B.C. Transit’s new tap-payment option for bus riders is being delayed until spring 2023.

The new system, which allows for fare payment via a reloadable smart card, mobile app, mobile wallet, debit card or credit card, was supposed to be introduced this fall in the Victoria Regional Transit System, with 29 other transit system following suit in the next few months.

B.C. Transit is blaming supply-chain issues for the delay.

The cost of the $23.2-million system will be shared by the federal government (50 per cent), the provincial government (40 per cent) and local-government partners (10 per cent).

The new fare mechanisms are expected to be cheaper per bus than the old ones, which date back to the 1990s and can be hard to get parts for.

Currently, riders slide a fare card through a card reader, insert paper tickets or use bills or coins. Cash will still be accepted when the new system is in place.

Transportation Minister Rob Fleming has said the new fare system is part of the effort to return bus ridership to pre-pandemic levels, and reflects a “sharp decline” in the use of cash.

The system comes from California-based Cubic Transportation Systems Inc., which is also behind Metro Vancouver’s TransLink Compass Card.

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