Winnipeg Transit has begun installing new state-of-the-art fare boxes on all 565 buses in its fleet. The new boxes will be equipped with automatic coin counters, on-screen information displays, paper transfer printers and readers, a separate ticket slot and smart card sensors.
New fareboxes more user-friendly and include improved security features
Coins will now be validated and counted as they are dropped, one at a time, through the coin slot. As payment is made, information will be presented visually on the display screen that is mounted on top of the fare box. The fare boxes do not accept pennies or paper currency. Based on experiences in other markets that are already using the GFI-Odyssey system, the new fare boxes represent a minor change to most transit customers who pay with cash or tickets.
Ticket paying customers will need to drop their tickets into a clearly marked ticket slot located on top of the new farebox. Pass holders will encounter no change at all to their current payment and boarding method.
Transfers now printed, issued and read by the new farebox
When paying a fare with cash or tickets, riders can still ask the Operator for a transfer, however, now the transfer will be printed and issued by the new fare box, not the operator. The printed transfer will include a bar code that will be automatically validated by the bar code reader when scanned by the new fare box on a connecting bus. The fare box will indicate both audibly and visually if the transfer is valid. The transfer is good for up to 75 minutes from the time it is printed, up from the 60-minute transfer guarantee offered by current transfers.
The conversion process is expected to extend over the next few weeks. During the installation phase, passengers may encounter both types of fareboxes. Passengers with an old style transfer will still need to show their transfer to the operator when boarding. Passengers with a new bar code transfer boarding a bus with an old farebox will also need to show the operator their transfer.
Smart cards to be introduced in the near future
The next phase of the project will be the implementation of a new smart card fare payment system that will provide transit customers with a more convenient way to pay for their bus rides. Transit will still accept cash on buses with the new system; however, all paper pass and ticket products currently in use will be replaced once smart cards are introduced. Transit will continue to offer special fare discounts for seniors and students. More details about the new smart card system, including an implementation timeline will be available in the late summer or early fall of 2013.
For more information about the new Fare Collection System, visit winnipegtransit.com