Metrobus (St. John’s Transportation Commission) – St. Johns, Newfoundland and Labrador

 Since December 2005, when the St. John’s Transportation Commission (Metrobus) in St. John’s, Newfoundland selected PIM’s team and staff to design and supply a contactless smartCard-based Automatic Fare Collection system, the first of its kind in Canada, PIM’s staff has worked hand-in-hand with Metrobus to keep the system at the leading edge of technology.

Through the years the system has grown in capabilities and new technologies have been incorporated. A loyalty point system was introduced in the early 2010’s that alow passengers to accumulate Air Miles points when using the buses.

In 2015 the GoBus units, which provide mobility services, were equipped with a handheld smart card reader to allow passengers to pay their fare with the same payment options offered in the conventional buses.

In 2016 a new Validator, the Futura 3FB, was installed, replacing the original ones installed in 2006, something that was done over a weekend, again, without disrupting the operation of the system.  The new Validators, with its larger screen, allowed Metrobus to start showing videos, either as paid advertisements, or promotional videos.

Finally, in 2021 Metrobus awarded PIM the project to upgrade and update the entire system, moving it from the original Card-based scheme, to an Account-based one, in which the transactions will be processed by the backend in real time, which gives the capability that the reloads done by the passengers are immediately available for usage.

The migration leveraged as much as possible the infrastructure already in place, continuing to use the Futura F3B Validators, which only received a firmware update, and the continued usage of all the smartcards issued and in use by passengers. Nevertheless, new Driver Displays were installed, replacing the original ones from 2006, and new Attended Add-Value Machines.

The transition of the system also saw the migration of the Metrobus-hosted server and database to a cloud solution, to be hosted at a Microsoft Azure Data Center. Server is managed by PIM to provide software updates such as the Customer Service and Personalization and Card Management Systems.

The upgrade also included the replacement of the GoBus handheld units with new Android based tablets, which will be used also for the On-Demand system that Metrobus has signed with a third party.

Transition into the new system was done in September 2021 in a smooth, seamless, and quick move, and more importantly there were no disruptions or inconveniences to the drivers, management, or passengers.

Guelph Transit – City of Guelph, ON

In 2019, The City of Guelph awarded PIM a contract to design and supply a contactless smart Account-based Automatic Fare Collection system including the supply of all new Farebox hardware. The work included the installation of the system on 91 conventional and mobility transit buses.

PIM designed a solution allowing Guelph Transit to introduce new payment methods, such as reloadable and disposable cards, low cost QR printed media and Mobile Ticketing while still accepting bills and coins to pay cash fares.

An key feature designed into the system is the capability for the Farebox to accept the University of Guelph student ID, which is based on a HID I-Class card, and continue to use all other fare media. The students’ IDs continue to be managed by the University, and the list of allowed IDs is transmitted and uploaded automatically to the Fare Collection System.

The system includes a Corporate Portal, through which companies and partners that have an agreement with Guelph Transit can issue, reload, and fully manage employees’ cards. Through the use of the Corporate Portal, Guelph Transit can create fare products customized for each partner, giving it more flexibility to negotiate its partner contracts.

The system also includes two different Mobile Applications, one used by passengers to buy and manage fare products and to pay for their ride; a second one designed for taxi drivers to be able to collect the fares when providing service to qualified riders.

The system is hosted and managed by PIM at one of Microsoft’s Azure Data Centers in Canada, while Guelph Transit continues to have full control of the system’s functionality.


Grande Prairie Transit – City of Grande Prairie, Alberta

In 2018, the City of Grande Prairie awarded PIM a contract to design and supply a contactless smart Card-based Automatic Fare Collection system including the supply of all new on-board hardware. The work originally called for the installation of 21 Farebox in their conventional transit fleet, but during the process of the project, three more vehicles were added, one of them been used in a regional service, which required adding Fare by Route capabilities to the system.

Since the original lunch of the system in September 2018, the system has grown to 31 vehicles, some of them equipped with a portable reader.

PIM designed a solution that provided Grande Prairie Transit with the capability to use both reloadable and disposable cards and continue to accept coins to pay cash fares.

The system includes the auto load function. This allows the value stored on a reloadable card to be updated automatically as part of the read/write process when the card is used at an OBV on a bus.

The system was launched on September 13, 2018 – seven months after a contract was awarded.

LOCATION: Grand Prairie AB
Awarded: February 2018
Start of Revenue: September 2018
Size of Project: 24 Buses

LOCATION: Lethbridge AB
Awarded: July 2011
Start of Revenue: December 2011
Size of Project: 48 Buses – 32 Para Transit Buses

Awarded: May 2010
Start of Revenue: November 2010
Size of Project: 112 Buses – 41 Para Transit Buses

LOCATION: Lethbridge AB
Awarded: July 2011
Start of Revenue: December 2011
Size of Project: 48 Buses – 32 Para Transit Buses

LOCATION: Saskatoon SK
Awarded: May 2009
Start of Revenue: February 2010
Size of Project: 140 Buses – 25 Para Transit Buses

LOCATION: Kingston Transit
Awarded: March 2008
Start of Revenue: September 2008
Size of Project: 31 Buses

LOCATION: Brantford ON
Awarded: March 2007
Start of Revenue: December 2007
Size of Project: 31 Buses – 12 Para Transit Buses

Awarded: March 2006
Start of Revenue: December 2006
Upgraded in 2016

Size of Project: 60 Buses – 21 Para Transit Buses

Location Awarded Start of Revenue Size of Project
Grand Prairie AB February 2018 September 2018 24 Buses
Lethbridge AB July 2011 December 2011 48 Buses – 32 Para Transit Buses
Regina SK May 2010 November 2010 112 Buses – 41 Para Transit Buses
Saskatoon SK May 2009 February 2010 140 Buses – 25 Para Transit Buses
Kingston Transit March 2008 September 2008 31 Buses
Brantford ON March 2007 December 2007 31 Buses – 12 Para Transit Buses
St. John’s NL March 2006 December 2006 Upgraded in 2016
60 Buses  – 21 Para Transit Buses