The government of Ontario, Canada is moving forward with the implementation of an integrated transit fare card system to make it easier for commuters to travel around the Golden Horseshoe.
Acting on advice from the Central Ontario Smart Growth Panel, the government is investing up to $40 million toward the establishment and operation of the system.
Up to nine municipal transit agencies are expected to initially join the system, including Ajax/Pickering, Brampton, Burlington, Hamilton, Mississauga, Oakville, Oshawa, Whitby and York Region, along with GO Transit.
The government will lead the way by investing in the capital and operational costs of the central system, and by providing municipalities with up to one-third of their local start-up costs.
The inter-regional fare card system would include:
--A common fare card whose common currency would be an e-purse;
--Individual systems for each participating municipal transit agency and for GO Transit. These systems would include the on-board and back office equipment and software to accommodate and administer the fare card system;
--A central system that would be the link to all of the individual agency systems, acquiring all fare card transaction data, holding the e-purse values in a separate bank account and disbursing funds to each agency on a daily basis, providing customer fare card support services and central technical support.
The new fare card system is expected to become available to transit users in late 2004 or early 2005.