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OC Transpo piloting tap payments at Rideau Station, planned for all Ottawa transit in 2021

Rideau Station is the test site for a new contactless fare payment system in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Lars Hagberg

Ottawa transit riders have a new way to pay fares at Rideau Station — and will eventually throughout the city’s transit network — through a new pilot to enable contactless payment.

OC Transpo has installed contactless technology at one fare gate on the west end of the Rideau light-rail transit station, the transit agency announced Tuesday.

Read more: TSB not flagging any safety issues on Ottawa LRT despite wheel cracks, OC Transpo head says

The new tech will allow users to pay for one adult, single-ride fare by tapping their credit card, smartphone or smartwatch equipped with a mobile wallet such as Google Pay or Apple Pay. Previously, the only way to tap for payments was with a Presto card, a transit-specific application managed by Metrolinx.

The contactless payment solution is a limited pilot with Scheidt & Bachmann, a fare and parking service provider headquartered in Germany.

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While the technology is currently limited to the sole gate at Rideau Station, OC Transpo says the payment option will be expanded to all other light-rail stations in the city and every bus later this year.

OC Transpo said in a statement that the new contactless service has been fast-tracked to reduce touch points int he city’s transit system amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

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