Chilliwack buses go to electronic fare collection

Transit customers in Chilliwack can now use a new electronic system that will improve fare security, reduce fare disputes and collect accurate ridership data. Chilliwack is one of several communities across B.C. that has switched to this new electronic system.

Transit customers in Chilliwack can now use a new electronic system that will improve fare security, reduce fare disputes and collect accurate ridership data. Chilliwack is one of several communities across B.C. that has switched to this new electronic system.

The new machines will record data from each fare card, such as product type, boarding time and bus route – valuable data that can be used to help determine future changes or improvements for the local transit system.

“Electronic fareboxes are easy to use for riders and more efficient for drivers,” said MLA for Chilliwack-Hope Barry Penner. “Also, they will allow BC Transit to gather important information on ridership trends in Chilliwack, which will be a big help for route planning in the future.”

“These upgrades will improve overall efficiency on Chilliwack’s busses,” said MLA for Chilliwack John Les. “With all the extra information collected being used to make future changes, BC Transit passengers stand to benefit from these new fareboxes the most.”

Prior to the installation of the electronic fareboxes, customers simply showed their valid bus pass to the bus driver as proof of payment when boarding a bus. Now, passholders will be asked to swipe their encoded pass at the farebox when boarding a bus for validation. The method of payment remains the same for customers paying by ticket or cash.

This year, BC Transit launched electronic fareboxes in a number of systems including Campbell River, Central Fraser Valley, Comox Valley, Cowichan Valley and Cowichan Valley Commuter, Cranbrook, Kamloops, Kelowna, Kootenay Boundary, Nanaimo, Pemberton, Penticton, Port Alberni, Powell River, Prince George, Squamish, Sunshine Coast and Vernon.

The encoded bus passes are now on sale.

This long-range capital project, budgeted at $6.48 million, will outfit approximately 700 BC Transit vehicles with similar technology. Several other communities will switch to electronic fareboxes later in 2011.

“BC Transit and our local government partners are committed to investing in ways that help build safer, more effective, and more efficient transit systems,” said Manuel Achadinha, President and CEO of BC Transit.

The electronic fareboxes were purchased from Quebec-based Garival Incorporated, Canadian sales representatives for GFI Genfare, a leading maker of bus fare collection systems in North America.

For more information about any BC Transit system, visit www.bctransit.com.