Penny sees end of the line on Windsor buses
The poor little penny doesn't get much respect, and it's about to suffer another blow.
The transit authority in Windsor, Ont., has announced it will no longer accept pennies for bus fare.
Starting Jan. 1, 2011, the $2.45 adult fare will have to be exact and in a combination of loonies, toonies, nickels, dimes or quarters.
The decision comes in light of plans to install new electronic fare boxes in the new year.
The boxes can only recognize, and differentiate between, certain coins. And since Windsor is only 1,200 metres from Detroit, Mich., the buses need to be able to recognize and reject all U.S. currency.
Pat Delmore, the director of operations for Transit Windsor, said the federal government is also planning changes to the $1 and $2 coin.
"It poses an increased challenge to us to be able to have all of those identifiers into our new fare box," Delmore said.
Other Ont. cities bar penny fares
On a typical day, about $20 in pennies are deposited in the Transit Windsor fare boxes.
The change to the change policy drew mixed reaction from Transit Windsor passengers.
"I don't use pennies, per se, but if I was somebody who did, I could see that being upsetting," one rider told CBC News.
"We've always had it," another said. "We should always use it."
However, some Transit Windsor passengers said they don't usually carry a pile of pennies anyway.
"Usually, I stick to toonies and stuff," a rider said. "I don't really use pennies. Wouldn't be a problem for me."
Other Ontario cities, such as Sudbury, St. Catharines, Brantford and Peterborough have also banned the penny from the fare box.
"All of them said that they had not experienced any backlash, any upset passengers," Delmore said.
Transit Windsor plans a marketing campaign to get passengers ready for the change.