Connect cards once again being tested by Calgary Transit

Calgary Transit has begun testing electronic fare cards on buses and C-Train platforms.

Electronic fare program dumped in 2012 because of serious glitches

Riders testing the system will be able to tap a card against a card reader to pay fares. (CBC)

Calgary Transit employees are helping to test a new electronic fare card that could be in use by early next year.

Connect is a reloadable card that transit riders can tap on a special reader on buses and train platforms instead of using cash or a monthly pass.

About 1,000 city staff will try out the system for three months before a public launch anticipated at a later date.

The program was dumped in 2012 because of serious glitches, but the developer was given a second chance and officials say the project is now on track.

General manager Doug Morgan says they want to ensure it works.

"So really it's a chance for us to one — test the system — have a lot of people tapping and seeing that activity and making sure the transactions are taking place," he said.

"But it's also to give our staff a first-hand look at what the cards will be like [and] how they're going to operate so that they can support our customers when we roll out at the public launch."

Morgan says the plan is to eventually allow people to use Connect to pay for other city services at libraries and recreation facilities as well.

"Starting today is a 90-day test and we'll judge how well it's operating over these 90 days and look at it on a week-to-week basis," said Morgan. 

"We have some pretty good test procedures that they can try to fool the system and make sure that it's iron clad when it heads to Calgarians' hands."

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