Fare Payment and Fare Options

Strategies Under Evaluation

A variety of fare programs and fare structures are being evaluated as part of the overall Smart Fare payment system, and each municipality will retain the authority to establish fare pricing and fare structures appropriate for their specific transit systems. City Council will have final approval for the rates charged by St. Albert Transit.

Fare Capping

Maximum payment limits are placed on individual trips or on daily or monthly periods of travel. For example, if St. Albert Transit’s monthly fare is set at $115.25, a passenger would be charged an individual trip fare each time he or she boards the bus until the monthly cap is met. The system then stops charging for any additional trips taken that month. Different fare caps can be set for seniors, youths, and low-income individuals to reflect fare programs currently in place in each municipality. 

Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG)

This option allows customers to pay one trip at a time rather than needing an individual ticket or monthly pass. If used together with fare capping, the customer would pay for each trip when it is made, up to the fare cap for a single trip, single day, or monthly period. The PAYG option allows customers to use their credit or debit cards directly on the bus or at the LRT station by tapping their card on a validator screen or using a mobile smart device. The system applies the lowest fare over a period of time only if the same card is used throughout the period.  Using a variety of credit cards or debit cards in any particular period will not allow the system to calculate the lowest fare. 

Distance-Based Fares

With this approach, the fare paid for each trip could be charged based on the number of kilometres travelled. The fare would be based on the straight-line distance between the start and endpoints of the customer's transit trip, not on the pattern of the route taken.  Customers who make shorter trips could pay less for their trip. Similar to PAYG, if combined with fare capping, customers would pay no more than a pre-set ceiling for a single trip, single day, or monthly period. 

Illustration of a zig zag road with Start in the bottom left corner and End in the Top right; an arrow points from start towards end with the words Fare Charged

Related Pages

Last edited: November 19, 2019