Edmonton is going ahead with smart transit cards despite concerns they may not reduce the number of people who scam the system by using the LRT without payment.

Mayor Don Iveson says the cards are more a matter of convenience and will help encourage people to use transit.

However, it'll take a couple of years before the program is in place. 

"Realistically to do a competitive procurement and get the best value out there and put in the best system is going to take a little bit of time and then bolting it into a thousand buses is going to take some time as well."

Iveson said he'd like to see passengers using the cards in 2016.

The city has set aside $7 million to help pay for the scanners needed. The city will will apply for grant money from the province to help pay the remaining $20 million.