In the future, residents will be able to pay for their public transportation with little effort.
 
Fort Saskatchewan will be joining the Smart Fare program.
 
The pay-as-you-go philosophy allows users to pay for what they used, instead of being charged a monthly or annual fee. No cash or paper is involved.
 
The electronic fare payment system is very similar to the way debit or credit cards are used in the banking network.
 
"When you get on a transit vehicle you basically tap on and top off when you get off the bus. The system will charge you accordingly," said the city's transit supervisor, Anthony Dionigi.
 
Edmonton, St.Albert and Strathcona County were the first to enter into a partnership for the program. Fort Saskatchewan, Beaumont, Leduc and Spruce Grove were also invited.
 
Council passed the idea 5-2 in Tuesday's (May 22) meeting. All buses in the Fort will effectively be moving towards the program.
 
The commitment is $254,000 ($100,000 initial start-up fee and $154,000 for equipment). Some costs may be offset by grants.
 
Scheduling and mapping software will be governed by the City of Edmonton. Vix Technology will build the system over three years. Vix will operate and maintain the system for 12 years.
 
Smart Fare is being developed through 2018. It will be piloted in 2019 and rolled out in 2020.
 
The technology will be used on current public transportation including buses, the LRT, and DATS buses throughout the participating municipalities.

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