Calgary Transit to roll out mobile ticketing in 2020

Calgary Transit plans to roll out mobile ticketing next year.

You'll be able to hop on the bus with just a tap of your phone

Calgary Transit is rolling out mobile ticketing with the new MyFare app in 2020. (Julie Debeljak/CBC)

Calgary Transit plans to roll out mobile ticketing next year.

Its MyFare app, which allows users to buy and validate adult and youth monthly passes or single-ride tickets on their phones, was tested for four months earlier this year.

Akmal Rafiq, Calgary Transit's technology coordinator, said mobile ticketing will be both more efficient and convenient.

"It will be easy to use, easy to keep and carry rather than having a bus pass for example … because sometimes people forget," he said. "Normally people don't forget their phones."

"We think the convenience of the system will lead to many more users over time migrating to use of the app, however our short-term goal in the next couple of years is just to see 10 to 25 per cent of users taking advantage," Chris Jordan, manager of service design for Calgary Transit, said. 

Jordan said cash and paper ticket options will still be available. The app will also be PCI compliant — meaning it meets the industry security standard for major credit cards.

Ticket vending machines were first installed at LRT stations in the 1980s and have since been upgraded to accept credit and debit cards, as well as change. Taking the bus itself requires prepaid monthly passes or paper tickets, or exact change. 

Transit's experimentation with electronic fare payment has been going on for nearly a decade — with little to show for it so far.

Calgary Transit has given up twice on its Connect tap-and-go fare card after sinking millions into the project, citing problems with the company.

Ticket validators are being installed on buses now, with rollout expected for mid-2020.

With files from Elissa Carpenter


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