Transfers may be a thing of the past as BC Transit eyes a new fare plan aimed at making it quicker and easier to take the bus in the Fraser Valley.File photo

Transfers out, tapping in as BC Transit eyes Abbotsford and Mission fare review

Agency looks to make it easier for riders to pay to ride next year

Transfers may be a thing of the past as BC Transit eyes a new fare plan aimed at making it quicker and easier to take the bus in the Fraser Valley.

Transit officials say they will soon start reviewing how fares get paid on buses in the Central Fraser Valley. The goal is to make it simpler to pay to ride the bus, and BC Transit government relations senior manager Lisa Trotter told a city committee Monday that could result in the implementation of new fare technology.

Instead of the exchange of coinage for a transfer, the most common on-board transaction may turn into a rider tapping a credit or debit card – or even just their phone – in exchange for a full day’s pass.

RELATED: New real-time location technology coming to Fraser Valley buses soon

Moving from fares that come with a transfer to the purchase of day passes has proven to generate more revenue in other communities while also pleasing riders, Trotter told the committee.

“Customers really seem to love it so it’s been a win-win.”

The hope is to kick off a review of local fare structures at the end of 2019 or start of 2020, with an eye on implementing the new system by next fall.

The review is part of a suite of changes coming to how transit operates in the Fraser Valley. The city’s busiest three routes were tweaked over the summer and construction is continuing on a new $28 million bus depot on Gladys Avenue that will allow the system to add new buses. Four new buses are on the way in January. BC Transit also plans to add its NextRide location technology to local buses next year.

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