OC Transpo Revolutionizes Public Transit with New Tap and Ride O-Payment System

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In a significant move towards ticketless travel, OC Transpo introduces O-Payment, a tap and ride system that allows passengers to pay their fares with a mere swipe of their credit cards. This revolutionary shift is set to provide tough competition for the Presto card starting as early as this Thursday.

Now, customers will find it far easier than before to hop onto local buses or the O-Train, thanks to the newly launched payment solution. Customers can conveniently make use of their Visa or Mastercard for fare payment, while mobile wallet options such as Apple Pay or Google Wallet are also supported. Unfortunately for now, debit card tap payments are unavailable, but OC Transpo ensures that this feature is in the pipeline.

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The new feature was met with positive reactions from transit users, like Mitch Ward, who believes the option will simplify travel, especially for those who are only boarding the bus, by making payments more efficient.

The O-Payment system aims not only to enhance the service for existing passengers, but also to attract more occasional riders by making the payment process more convenient. OC Transpo GM Renée Amilcar describes the use of credit cards as a global trend followed by transit systems across the world, which could be an easy and convenient payment method for tourists too.

In the light of dropping ridership numbers, this innovative payment method gives a ray of hope to attract more passengers to public transit. As Mayor Mark Sutcliffe says, “We need to focus on improving the experience for our customers and making transit easier. This is one step in that direction.”

In another first for any transit agency in Canada, OC Transpo is introducing ‘fare capping,’ where each passenger is only required to pay up to the set cost of a day pass irrespective of the number of trips they take in a day. “Once a passenger makes more than three journeys in a day, the accumulated fare never exceeds $11.25, the cost of a day pass,” explains Glen Gower, Transit Commission Chair. The same method applies to monthly passes, where the total fare never surpasses the price of an adult monthly pass, currently set at $125.50.

While the changes are welcomed by some, others remain skeptical, with sentiments such as “It’s good, as long as it works when you tap it.” Only time will tell whether the general public will embrace O-Payment, but for now, it signifies a bold step towards modernizing public transport payments.

With the O-Payment introduction, customers will be allowed to transfer between trips using their credit cards or mobile wallet at no additional charge, granted they are within the transfer window.

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Melinda Cochrane is a poet, teacher and fiction author. She is also the editor and publisher of The Inspired Heart, a collection of international writers. Melinda also runs a publishing company, Melinda Cochrane International books for aspiring writers, based out Montreal, Quebec. Her publication credits include: The art of poetic inquiry, (Backalong Books), a novella, Desperate Freedom, (Brian Wrixon Books Canada), and 2 collections of poetry; The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat, (Backalong Books), and She’s an Island Poet, Desperate Freedom was on the bestseller's list for one week, and The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat is one of hope and encouragement for all those living in the social welfare system. She’s been published in online magazines such as, (regular writer for) ‘Life as a Human’, and Shannon Grissom’s magazine.