Halifax Transit will finally accept electronic payments | City | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST
A Halifax Transit bus
A Halifax Transit bus

Halifax Transit will finally accept electronic payments

…In 2 months. The hard-to-find paper tickets stay the same price.

On Monday, Oct. 3, Halifax’s transportation standing committee met to discuss the upcoming transit payment app that the committee, and council, have already approved. Today’s short meeting was primarily about setting the fees for the cashless payment app, and answering councillors’ questions about its use.

The app allows the city to offer new fare options that were not feasible or not implemented with paper payment options, like two-day passes and seven-day passes. The electronic options are designed to supplement paper payment, but not replace it completely. The city recognizes that requiring technology is a barrier to entry that would only hurt the people who need transit the most, since the app requires internet or data to make purchases.

The app is seen by council as a crucial step forward in modernizing the city, dragging it kicking and screaming into the 21st century. It also increases options for riders on how to pay their fares. Due to an incredibly convoluted bureaucratic process, becoming a licensed reseller of bus tickets can take years. Atlantic News owner Michele Gerard told The Coast in 2015 that she had been trying to become a bus ticket reseller since 2011. Atlantic News became an official seller three weeks ago, in 2022. 11 years. This app also sidesteps Halifax’s bus ticket reseller bureaucratic blockade.

In the city’s survey that asked what fares people might want to buy, city officials discovered the people of Halifax also wanted to be able to buy:

  • five-day passes
    click to enlarge Halifax Transit will finally accept electronic payments
    Halifax City Staff
    Screen shot of the report showing the new fares highlighted in yellow
  • unlimited weekend passes
  • commuter passes: Discounted passes available to use on trips taken Monday to Friday during peak hours only
  • off-peak passes: Discounted passes available to use on trips taken between 9:30am. and 3pm
  • group/family pass: Discounted fares for a family or group that would be valid for a certain amount of time or trips taken
  • student summer pass: Unlimited transit for students during summer months, available in locations where students receive a transit pass during the academic year (September-June)
  • discounted passes for the summer months to promote tourism around the city
    click to enlarge Halifax Transit will finally accept electronic payments
    Halifax City Staff
    Screen shot of the report showing the new fares highlighted in yellow
  • tourism pass: A pass that allows for unlimited rides for a certain period of time. Within that valid time, free admission would be available for attractions like museums, as well as discounts on several restaurants or sightseeing activities around the city

Councillor Waye Mason also put forward two motions. The first asked staff for a report on how to regulate tour operators that are not buses or taxis. Mason told the committee that there’s one company operating in this space, but there are no regulations for operating its business.

Mason’s second motion was to try and figure out how to create pedestrian-only spaces. This is not related to the Spring Garden Road fiasco, or at least not directly. But there are places in the city that sometimes exclude cars, like Argyle or Bedford Row, which use different rules and procedures each time they close. Mason wants to see a standard for how the city makes its streets better for people.

About The Author

Matt Stickland

Matt spent 10 years in the Navy where he deployed to Libya with HMCS Charlottetown and then became a submariner until ‘retiring’ in 2018. In 2019 he completed his Bachelor of Journalism from the University of King’s College. Matt is an almost award winning opinion writer.

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