Saturday, September 20, 2008

Montreal shares 'lessons' learned from transit smartcard

By Allison Hanes, National Post

The Toronto Transit Commission may join forces with other GTA transportation agencies to introduce a smartcard fare payment system like those in Hong Kong, London and most recently Montreal.

The Octopus, Oyster and Opus cards in those cities contain a microchip that allows riders to load it with a variety of prepaid fare options that are swiped under a low-frequency radio scanner when users want to ride the train, subway, bus or ferry — or even buy a coffee and snacks in Hong Kong.

But despite their many benefits and popularity, switching to slick smartcards hasn’t always been a smooth ride for transit agencies.

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