Waterloo region residents who take Grand River Transit (GRT) on a regular basis will gradually start to notice new installed fare boxes.

So far, GRT has been testing the new fare boxes on four of its buses. On Monday, a fifth bus will have a new fare box installed, followed by a sixth bus on Tuesday.

"As we find our feet, the rate of installing fare boxes will gradually increase," said Gethyn Beniston, project manager for electronic fare systems for Waterloo region.

Riders will notice that the new fare boxes have a coloured LCD screen, transfers will be printed rather than given by the bus operator and there will be a temporary ticket container located beside fare box.

Beniston adds that it may take about two months for all of GRT buses to be equipped with the new fare boxes.

'One system, one fare'

The new fare boxes are designed to take the new EasyGo fare card, which will eventually become the new form of paying for public transit.

However, the EasyGo card will only be available once all GRT buses have the new fare boxes installed. For now, riders can use cash (coins only), transfers and paper tickets when using the new fare boxes.

GRT will eventually stop selling paper tickets as well, said Beniston and adds that the public will get a few months' notice before that happens.

Once the ION starts to operate, riders will be able to use the same transfer from buses to the ION service and vise versa.

"It will be one system, one fare," said Beniston. "We need to get people to ION so they can take advantage of ION to get around the city and we don't want fares to be an impediment to doing that so the transfers should make it easy."