Calgary Transit looks to renew electronic fare card efforts

Calgary Transit says it may hire Telvent again to complete its electronic fare card system after the Connect Card

City spent $3.5M on Connect Card system, but it was terminated last year after multiple problems

Calgary Transit recently met with Telvent, the company originally contracted to implement an electronic fare collection system, to discuss the option of re-engaging with the company. (CBC)

Calgary Transit says it may hire Telvent again to complete its electronic fare card system.

The city had paid the company $3.5 million only to terminate its contract last year. 

The city says Telvent continued to work on the Connect Card system for several months at its own risk and expense following the cancellation of the contract.

Roughly 350 students and city employees tested the Connect card in daily use last year and found numerous problems. (CBC)

"We had a look at this work and feel it has the potential to provide a solution that’s right for Calgary,” said Calgary Transit director Doug Morgan in a release.

“We’re committed to implementing an electronic fare collection (EFC) system for our customers and want to ensure we consider all options. The Telvent option would cost taxpayers millions less and be implemented about two years earlier.”

Telvent had successfully designed electronic transit fare cards for cities in Mexico, Spain and China.

But it couldn't seem to get the system working in Calgary.

Calgary Transit says it has researched other EFC systems across North America and it would save $11 million by not going with a brand-new supplier.

The city has agreed to work with Telvent to determine if terms can be met for a new contract before Dec.15. 

With files from CBC's Scott Dippel


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.