General FAQs

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 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, all of which make taking transit easy.
3. Can I punch a hole in my EasyGO fare card?

You should not put a hole in your EasyGO fare card. Doing so will damage the card and it will not work.

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

There are a number of benefits to using the EasyGO Fare Card:

  • Tap and go fare payment
  • Seamless transfers between all GRT services, including ION light rail
  • Faster boarding and fewer delays at busy locations
  • Add stored value and passes to your card in person or online
  • Register your card to protect your balance if your card is lost or stolen
  • Create an online account to set up autoload of stored value or autorenewal of your monthly pass
  • Better data on ridership to improve scheduling and service
5. 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 fare vending machines. Having our own system allows us to ensure our fare products meet our unique customer needs.
6. How do UPasses work?

The new student cards issued by Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo are compatible with GRT's electronic payment system. Students tap their WatCards or OneCards on the farebox when boarding the bus. The farebox will validate the UPass on their card.

Students who are not eligible for the UPass program can obtain an EasyGO fare card and load monthly passes or stored value to pay their fare.

GRT collects information about the card's use on our system, including the date and time it was used, ID of the device where it was tapped, the serial number and the student organization the card holder is associated with (e.g. Feds). GRT does not have access to any personal information about the card holder; card usage information is not linked to the student's name.

Using the EasyGO fare card

7. Where can I use the EasyGO Fare Card?

You can use the EasyGO fare card to pay to ride conventional buses and in the future, ION light rail. 

In the future, BusPlus vehicles will be outfitted with mobile units for tapping the fare card. Until these are in place, just show your fare card to the driver when boarding.

The EasyGO fare card cannot be used on MobilityPLUS vehicles. MobilityPLUS customers will continue to pay with paper tickets, passes and cash until a new online pre-payment system is in place.

At this time, EasyGO fare cards cannot be used on Kiwanis Transit vehicles. Customers can continue to buy tickets and passes from Kiwanis Transit. More information will be provided at a later date.


8. Can I pay for another person travelling with me?

You can pay for another person or group of people if you have stored value loaded on your card. A group can be 2-15 people.

Please note: All of the transfers for your group will be loaded on your card. If your group splits up at a transfer point, the other members will not have transfers. The group payment option is intended for customers travelling together to their final destination.

You cannot pay for a group if you have a valid monthly pass, day pass or an ATP card.

Group fares on the bus

On the bus, let the operator know how many people you are paying for. They will enter the number on the farebox, and the farebox will display the total fare. Touch your card to the smart card target to pay the fare.

Group fares on ION light rail

Place your card in the holder of the fare vending machine. Press "I have an EasyGO fare card", then select "Buy group fare". Press the button for the number of people you are paying for.

9. Can GO train riders still get the Connect-to-GO fare?

GO Transit riders with a valid Presto card can enrol in Connect-to-GO. 

  • Travelling to the Kitchener Train Station on GRT: tap your EasyGO fare card when you board a GRT bus or ION train. Tap again at the validator located at the Kitchener Train Station.
  • Travelling from the Kitchener Train Station on GRT: Tap your EasyGO fare card at the validator located at the Kitchener Train Station. Tap again when you board a GRT bus or ION train.

When you've tapped your card twice, you'll get a rebate for your GRT fare.

Learn more about enrolling in Connect-to-GO

 10. How do transfers work?

When you pay your fare with the EasyGO fare card, your transfer is loaded directly on the card. If you tap your card on a farebox or ION card reader within 90 minutes, the system will read your transfer.

If you pay your fare with cash, you will need to insert your coins, then press the Transfer button on the farebox to print a transfer. The transfer has a barcode and the expiry date and time printed on it. When you transfer to a bus or ION light rail within 90 minutes, hold the barcode face down over the scanner and it will read your transfer.

11. I have a U-Pass, semester pass or monthly pass. Do I still have to tap before I board?

Customers with passes should tap their cards before boarding ION trains or GRT buses. This is important for collecting ridership numbers and planning future transit service improvements.

Managing your card online

12. Why does it take up to 24-48 hours for my online load to appear on my card?

When you load your card online, the transaction is added to the EasyGO database. GRT buses aren’t  connected to the EasyGO network while they’re on the road. When buses return to the garage, they connect to the network and download all of the transactions that were processed since the last time they were in the garage.

Some buses return to the garage in the middle of the day, and your online load would be available on those buses within a couple of hours. However, on busy routes, buses only return to the garage overnight. So if you load your card online at 6 a.m., your load may not be ready on all buses until the following morning. And if there is an error downloading the data to the farebox, it could take another day for the farebox to be updated.

Here's an example $10 load:

Diagram of how tapping a card on the farebox completes an online load

If you see your online load in pending transactions, you need to tap your card on a fare device to apply the load to your card.

If you want to be sure of having funds available on your card right away, you can load in person at a fare vending machine or visit customer service. Or you can set up an autoload so that funds are automatically added to your card when the balance drops below $10. 

13. Why doesn't my balance online match what it showed on the farebox?

It can take up to 24-48 hours for your balance and transaction history to be updated in your online account.

GRT buses aren't connected to the EasyGO network while they're on the road. When they return to the garage, they connect to the network and the farebox uploads all of the transactions it processed that day. Then your online balance is updated.

So which balance is correct? The balance displayed on the farebox screen when you tap your card is your current balance. 

14. I have an autorenewal set up on my card. When will my pass be loaded?

Autorenewal transactions are processed on the 25th of the month. This will give time for the payment to clear and the pass to be loaded on your card before the first day of the next month.

15. My online load is stuck in Pending transactions

When you load your card online, you'll see the purchase listed under Pending transactions. Tap the card on a farebox, platform card reader or fare vending machine to apply the load to your card. Tapping the card completes the purchase and applies the product to your card.

16. How do I know my online load was applied to my card?

When you tap your card on the farebox and your pass or stored value is loaded, the screen will show "Card updated" and you'll hear a special tone on the farebox.