EasyGO Fare Card - Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the EasyGO Fare Card?

The EasyGO Fare Card is an electronic fare card that uses smart-card technology to store funds in a secure account. Customers can load their fare either online or in person. The EasyGO Fare Card will replace the need for paper tickets, monthly passes and cash, although cash payment will still be an option. When you tap the EasyGO Fare Card on a fare payment device, the electronic chip embedded in the card will instantly calculate the fare you owe and deduct it from your account or verify your monthly pass.

2. Why the name EasyGO Fare Card?

EasyGo Fare Card was chosen because it is a strong brand our customers are familiar with. It complements GRT's existing EasyGO brand of products including Trip Planner, Next Bus Text, Next Bus Call, Real-time Desktop Map and Mobile App - which all make taking transit easy.

3. When will the EasyGO Fare Card be available?

GRT expects to launch the card in late 2016 or early 2017 following a pilot test of the system.

4. Where can I use the EasyGO Fare Card?

The EasyGO Fare Card will be accepted for fare payment on all transportation services provided by the Region of Waterloo. They include, GRT conventional buses, specialized transit (MobilityPLUS), BusPLUS, Kiwanis Transit, ION Bus Rapid Transit and the future ION Light Rail Transit.

5. What are the benefits of the EasyGO Fare Card?

There are a number of benefits to using the EasyGO Fare Card. It will allow you to travel seamlessly on GRT's family of services with just one card - this includes ION train service. You can add money to your card either in person or online. By registering your card you will protect the money you store on it. Should your card be lost or stolen, any products on it can be transferred to a replacement card.

6. I am an Adult Monthly Pass, Reduced Monthly Pass, T.R.I.P, Reduced Ticket user; will I still be able to purchase these fares?

GRT's current fare products will continue to be offered, with some slight changes to adapt to the new technology. Customers will load the fare type of their choice onto the EasyGO Fare Card. For instance, if you are a Reduced Monthly Pass user you can continue to purchase that pass, but it will be stored on the EasyGO Fare Card.

In place of tickets, the card will store the value of your tickets. When you tap your card to a fare payment device, the value of your ticket will be deducted from the value stored on your card. If you are a Reduced Ticket user, the amount deducted would be the price of a Reduced Ticket.

You can carry a pass and Stored Value (tickets) on a card at the same time. If you have a valid pass on the card, then the pass will be used for payment until it expires.

A minimum amount of $10 must be loaded on the card; therefore you cannot load a single fare ride onto your EasyGO Fare Card. If you wish to ride only once, you may continue to pay cash.

7. What will happen to GRT's current fare boxes?

GRT will be working to replace its existing fare boxes with new ones capable of reading the EasyGO Fare Card. This process will take place over summer/fall 2016. These new fare boxes will continue to accept our current fare products, however they will no longer accept bills or pennies. If you are paying your fare with cash, please have exact change. The new farebox does not issue change. 

8. Why wasn't Presto selected?

Presto could not be selected because they did not respond to a Request for Proposals, which is a Regional requirement. Also, Presto could not provide many of the functionalities that the Region deemed essential for our system including the ability to accept payment on MobilityPLUS vehicles, the ability to integrate a U-Pass program and the ability to issue machine readable paper tickets from Ticket Vending Machines. Having our own system allows us to ensure our fare products meet our unique customer needs.

9. What will happen to the $.50 Connect to GO for GO train riders?

We will continue the current Connect-to-GO discount program with the new system.

10. How do transfers work?

Transfers will be built right into your EasyGO Fare Card. Once you tap your card on the fare box it will automatically provide you with a 90 minute window to transfer to your next bus or to ION. However, if you pay for your fare with cash, you will need to push the button on the farebox to get a paper transfer after inserting your coins.