Winnipeg Transit smart cards implemented within a year

Paying for fare on Winnipeg Transit with a smart card could come into effect within a year for riders in the city.

Manual fare boxes to be changed over to automatic fare collection system

These Winnipeg Transit paper tickets could soon be replaced by 'smart cards,' if an electronic fare system is approved. (Donna Lee/CBC)

Paying a fare on Winnipeg Transit with a smart card will come into effect within a year.

Winnipeg’s finance committee will examine on Monday the option of changing fare boxes over to an automatic fare collection system.

The new system will be implemented in two phases, eventually leading to the smart card — which is yet to be named — being the only option outside of paying a full fare with change.

The first phase is set to begin at the end of February. The manual fare boxes will be replaced with the more high-tech system which will have automatic coin counters, on-screen information displays, paper transfer printers and readers and the smart card sensors.

The second phase will come into effect later in the year and will see the full replacement of all the old paper-based fares and flash passes and will include the full integration of electronic fare media.

The card — which can be topped up by phone or online with a credit card — will be available at Shopper’s Drug Mart, 7-11 and transit offices.

The Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works will meet Tuesday to discuss the plan to route the new southwest rapid transit corridor through a piece of land in Fort Garry just west of Pembina Higwhay.

The committee will also consider a universal bus pass plan for university students.