Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Calgary Transit preparing for CONNECT - electronic fare collection

CONNECT bus reader
Commuters will be able to use Calgary Transit's new electronic fare collection system in June 2012.

Transit fares will be available to customers on disposable or reloadable “smart cards”, e-stickers (used on Upass) and/or key fobs.

A naming contest was held a contest in July of this year, and the new cards will be called “Connect”. In keeping with this theme, the new system will be called the CONNECT system.

Customers will simply have to tap their card, key fob or e-sticker on a bus reader or at a CTrain station.  Transit peace officers will check fares using a handheld inspection terminal.

  • The current open system will continue to be used on CTrain platforms, so gates and turnstiles will not be installed.
  • Cash will always be an acceptable form of fare payment
  • Disposable preloaded cards will continue to be sold at most of the existing sales merchants (7-11, Macs, etc)
  • Most of the existing products will continue.
Through a new MyCONNECT website, customers can register their card, check their balance, add value to their reloadable card and review their card history. Registered cardholders are also eligible for lost card protection, negative balance protection and autoload (time, ride credits, monetary value).

CONNECT Timeline:
Handheld inspection terminal
  • Sept/Oct 2011:  Software and equipment testing
  • Oct 2011-March 2012:  Installation of equipment on buses and platforms
  • March-April 2012:  Training (including operators)
  • April-May 2012:  Implement pilot (U of C spring/summer students)
  • June 2012:  Implementation of new system

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