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Smartcards and faregates project moves one step forward

Smartcards will eventually replace all forms of tickets and passes on our system. [1]

Smartcards will eventually replace all forms of tickets and passes on our system.

Here’s an update on the smartcards and faregates project [2] announced in April.

Our board has given approval to get the procurement process for the project underway. We’ll be issuing a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the project this month, followed by a Request for Proposals (RFP) in the spring of 2010. Work is expected to be underway in 2010, with the new system operational in 2013.

If you don’t know, smartcards are a type of fare payment used in many transit systems worldwide. You typically get a credit-card-sized card that you can charge money to, then you swipe the card over electronic readers when you enter/exit the transit system. Faregates are planned for our SkyTrain and SeaBus systems to complement the smartcard system.

The whole project is a joint partnership between the Government of Canada, British Columbia and Translink. The Province is investing up to $40 million and the Government of Canada has agreed in principal to commit up to $30 million to a maximum of one-third of eligible costs in this project. TransLink will fund the balance of the project; the project budget is $171 million.

Check out the full press release [3] for more details!