Buying tickets and ride passes for Calgary Transit is about to get a whole lot easier, as riders will soon be able to use their mobile phones.
The idea was trialled with 250 customers on four bus routes between July and September.
Touting its success, Chris Jordan, manager of service design for Calgary Transit, said wider implementation will make the process more efficient.
“That’s just one step we can take to make it a little bit easier to get around the city on Calgary Transit,” he said Tuesday.
The mobile ticket options will be available through the MyFare app, which people can download on their smartphones to buy adult and youth monthly passes as well as single tickets.
Jordan said that’s part of the first phase of the electronic purchasing process.
“Gradually in the future, we’ll begin to add the more sophisticated fare products like the fair entry low-income transit pass, seniors pass and U-passes,” he said.
Jordan said mobile validators will be installed on 1050 buses in the coming months.
While CTrain riders won’t have to tap their phones each time they board the train, peace officers will still have a way to check their tickets.
“Our peace officers will have validators to conduct the same fare enforcement that they do on the trains today, validating passes whether customers carry them in paper form or in the form of a mobile ticket,” Jordan said.
Jordan said Calgary officials hope the roughly $5.5-million program will increase ridership across the city’s transit system.
“It’s something that our customers were asking for when we engaged them about the future of public transit and improvements that they’d like to see,” he said.
“This doesn’t replace the paper products that they can purchase today — it just makes it more convenient for them, should they choose to just travel with their smartphone.”
Calgary Transit said it will do a full roll-out of the program when all buses are equipped, adding it’s expected people will be tapping their way onto buses and CTrains by mid-2020.