Calgarians will soon enjoy long-awaited electronic payment as Calgary Transit rolls out its new My Fare program.
On July 1, Calgary Transit riders will have the ability to pay for their transit fare from their smartphones. The app, which is available for IOS and Android devices, will streamline the fare payment process for riders.
The app is free to download onto all iOS and Android smartphones. It also doesn’t require personal data to activate a ticket, though data or wi-fi is used to download the app and to purchase a ticket. Payment can be made using all major credit cards and Apple Pay.
Regular transit rates will apply when purchasing fare through your phone. All seasonal passes and regular fares will be stored on the phone for as long as the fare is still valid.
The app will be used at existing touch-less points on Calgary Transit, and it can be used by having your smartphone scanned on any Calgary Transit vehicle.
Amanda Bradley, City of Calgary transportation spokesperson said the program will make the whole transit process easier and more convenient for riders.
“We’re very excited about the new My Fare program,” she said.
“It will make the transit experience more user friendly and we believe our customers are going to be really happy to start using it.”
Standard fare options (paper tickets / transfers) are still available for Calgary Transit customers. Customers using the My Fare app won’t need paper transfers. Once activated a single-ride ticket is good for 90 minutes, Bradley said.
Along with the new fare payment program, Calgary transit will begin reopening buses for front-door boarding again.
As part of the July 1 rollout, Calgary Transit will be handing out masks and continue sanitizing buses and trains regularly.
Rider says smart fare payment more convenient
Calgarian Nally Souraya, took transit often before COVID-19 but has some hesitation before getting back on the bus.
“I used to take it all the time but I wasn’t sure how safe it was during COVID,” she said.
Souraya’s transit experience was OK but finding her transit pass or fare was always a hassle. It made the experience more difficult.
“I took the bus everywhere but the hardest thing was those paper stubs,” she said.
“They were hard to find and I would lose them in my purse.”
Souraya said it would be a huge improvement to the overall experience of taking Calgary Transit.
“Actually, that program would really help me out. I think it’s just smart that it’s on people’s phones,” she said.
“I know I would use it all the time and I’m sure people would, too.”
Long process to get to mobile transit fare payment
Nearly a decade ago, Calgary Transit first pitched the idea of an electronic fare payment system.
At that time they wanted to launch the Connect Card, a credit-card type payment system. That program was abandoned in 2015, because of problems with the system’s reliability.
At that point the city set their sights on a new fare system around the use of a smartphone.
Editor’s note: This article was updated with information on current pay options still available and clarification around the use of transfer in the smartphone payment system.