Ditch the ticket: London transit passengers can now opt for stored value smart card

A single fare using the smart card costs $1.90, and your transfer will be automatically loaded. File/980 CFPL

London transit riders no longer have to worry about putting their bus tickets through the wash, now that they can load money onto the LTC’s smart-card technology.

The stored value cards, which have been used by monthly pass holders for years, became available to ticket passengers on Monday.

Customers can get a smart card from the LTC’s headquarters on Highbury Avenue or downtown at Dundas and Richmond streets, load it in person or online, and can use it by tapping it at the card reader at the front of the bus.

If it’s an adult pass, $1.90 will be removed from the card’s stored value. It it’s a student pass, the fee is $1.54.

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LTC general manager Kelly Paleczny said it took a while to roll out the system fully because they had to iron out kinks when the system was first made available to monthly pass holders.

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“The actual stored value component has been there since the onset. But we have had a number of ongoing issues with the online revaluing web portal piece,” she explained.

“Monthly pass holders, they go on once a month and they load their pass for the next month. With the stored value, we anticipate that those transactions are going to be much more frequent because people are probably going to put $10 or $20 on. They’re going to be back visiting that web portal more often.”

The cards can hold up to $100, but passengers can only load up to $50 at a time. If they register the smart card online, they’ll also be able to put a block on it if it gets lost or stolen, ensuring a refund for what’s left of its stored value.

The LTC won’t replace lost or stolen paper tickets.

The stored value smart card is transferable between passengers, and can be used to pay up to 10 fares for 10 people. It also eliminates the possibility of losing your 90-minute transfer, which will be automatically loaded to the card the moment you tap it.


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