Kelowna council is not quite on-board with BC Transit’s plan to switch to an electronic fare collection system.
Umo (you-mo) will allow riders to pay with a mobile app, credit card, debit card, reloadable smart card, or mobile wallet.
Councillors Mohini Singh, Loyal Wooldridge, and Rick Webber all had concerns the new system may hamper the riders using transfers to other routes once they’ve initially paid their fare.
“It’s one thing to call for a universal fare system when we don’t have universal service,” said Webber.
Coun. Luke Stack was concerned about the reloadable smart card having an expiry date.
“If we want people to use it we should make it as easy and as attractive as possible,” he added.
Council has deferred a decision on supporting the program until BC Transit provides further information regarding fare transfers and expiry times for smart cards.
The Victoria Regional Transit System will get the program in the spring, with Kelowna getting on board in the fall, and other regions following over the next several months.
According to BC Transit, benefits include not having to pre-purchasing tickets and passes or carry exact change.
Umo also allows riders to travel across the province with one payment method.
Cash will continue to be accepted for those riders who prefer to use it.