BC Transit launches Umo across Victoria Regional Transit System
Umo debuts across the Victoria Regional Transit System, allowing commuters to benefit from contactless payment choices and novel fare alternatives aligned with their travel habits.
Credit: BC Transit
BC Transit has unveiled its new electronic fare system, Umo, marking a significant advancement in transit payment options. The debut of Umo begins with its integration into the Victoria Regional Transit System, encompassing the entire transit network. The new system introduces contactless payment choices and novel fare selections, enhancing the travel experience by affording commuters the flexibility to choose options aligning with their travel patterns and preferences.
Umo presents two primary payment avenues: the Umo Mobility app and a reloadable Umo card. The app allows users to purchase and manage fare products. In order to use the card, commuters must display a dynamic QR code from the app upon boarding, which is scanned by new on-board digital validators. The app additionally furnishes real-time trip planning tools and the capacity to set alerts for impending stops or dwindling funds.
Alternatively, riders can opt for the Umo card, obtainable for free from BC Transit vendors. This re-chargeable card, designed for sustained use, can be topped up through multiple channels, such as vendors, the Umo website, or the customer service hotline. Registration of the card is recommended to safeguard funds in case of loss.
BC Transit is also considering future inclusion of on-board debit and credit card payments. This will provide infrequent riders with more accessible transit options. These card payments will adhere to the same fare-capping policy as app and card transactions.
Umo’s introduction brings forth alterations to existing fare products, including the 30-Day Pass and Cash Balance fare options. The 30-Day Pass, poised to replace the Monthly Pass, offers unlimited travel without confining users to calendar months. In addition, Cash Balance, replacing paper Tickets, allows riders to draw from a stored dollar amount for individual trips. BC Transit plans a gradual phase-out of the older fare products.
The popular DayPASS is also refined with Umo, accessible through varied methods and at a reduced commitment. Users employing Cash Balance fare will automatically receive a DayPASS after their second payment of the day. This ensures equitable pricing for unlimited daily travel.
Furthermore, specialty fare programmes like U-Pass and ProPass will also gain efficiency with Umo’s integration, as a streamlined process will replace the previous in-person methods for programme registration.
To facilitate a smooth transition, BC Transit has also introduced a dedicated Umo customer service call centre. This resource is available throughout the week to address inquiries and provide support. The organisation acknowledges a learning curve during the adoption phase and re-affirms its commitment to customer service during this transition.
Following the launch in Victoria, Umo is slated to roll-out sequentially in 29 other transit systems. The Electronic Fare Collection System Project, funded through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, totals $23.2 million, with contributions from the Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia and local government partners.
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