OC Transpo test driving new fare technology

·1 min read
Riders entering one fare gate at the western end of Rideau station can now pay by tapping a credit card, phone or watch.
Riders entering one fare gate at the western end of Rideau station can now pay by tapping a credit card, phone or watch.

(Andrew Lee/CBC - image credit)

OC Transpo is testing new technology that lets riders pay their fare by tapping a credit card, phone or watch.

In a news release Tuesday, the City of Ottawa said one gate at Rideau LRT station has been set up to accept payment using Visa, Mastercard or mobile apps such as Apple Pay or Google Pay.

For now, the technology can only be used to pay for adult single fares. Riders using those methods of payment will only be able to transfer to a bus at the Blair, Hurdman and Tunney's Pasture hub stations.

Presto cards are still being accepted at all stations.

The pilot project is part of an agreement announced in August 2020 with Scheidt & Bachmann, which provides technology for fare collection, parking garages and other areas.

At the time, the city said it expected to start testing the technology in 2020, eventually expanding it across the entire transit system in 2021. On Tuesday, the city said that expansion will still happen this year.

In the future, riders will also be able to pay their fare by tapping debit cards, the city said.