FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Bus users in Fort St. John and Dawson Creek will soon be to utilize different payment methods for their fares.

BC Transit released further details on their upcoming electronic fare collection system on Wednesday, which will be implemented across the province.

The company says the innovative new system will also replace end of life technology and equipment, and introduce contactless tap payment methods to improve the transit experience.

New payment methods will include mobile app, debit card, credit card, mobile wallet, and reloadable smart card.

“The new contactless payment methods will increase access to transit by allowing riders to use items they carry every day, removing barriers like requiring them to pre-purchase tickets and passes or carry exact change,” said a release.

BC Transit has entered into an agreement with Cubic Transportation Systems, Inc. for their Umo platform that will power the system.

 “We are excited to be sharing news of the transformational electronic fare collection system project that will make selecting transit as your mode of choice more convenient and accessible,” said Erinn Pinkerton, BC Transit President and Chief Executive Officer.

“The innovative payment methods that will be enabled by the system are items that British Columbians carry on them every day. Whether someone is a daily rider, occasional rider, or haven’t taken their first trip yet, Umo will make their trip easier.”

Cash will still be accepted, but it is recommended that riders find one of the new payments methods to use, said BC Transit.

With the mobile app and reloadable smart card, riders will be able to load a stored value balance to their account to be drawn from as they ride.

BC Transit listed other benefits of the new system, including reduced touchpoints, reducing demand on operators, and a potential increase in ridership by offering promotions and programs through the system’s tools.

This project is being cost-shared with the Government of Canada contributing 50 per cent of eligible costs, the Province of British Columbia contributing 40 per cent, and the project’s local government partners contributing the remaining 10 per cent.

The total cost for this project is $23,200,000.