Paying your fare on ION light rail

Paying with cash or credit

Hand scanning ticket transfer on fare vending machine

To pay for a single trip, you can purchase a ticket/transfer from the fare vending machine located at the station. A ticket/transfer is good for unlimited rides on the train and buses within 90 minutes from the time it was issued. Scan it on the fare vending machine or the platform card reader before boarding.

If you plan to ride several times, you can purchase a reloadable EasyGO fare card or a multi-ride card from the fare vending machine.

Paying with an EasyGO fare card

Tap your EasyGO fare card on the platform card reader. If you don’t have an EasyGO fare card, you can buy one at the fare vending machine located at the station. Keep your card with you – it is your proof of payment.

You cannot cancel a fare payment once you have tapped.

Learn more about using the fare vending machine

Transferring from the bus

When you pay your fare on the bus, you get a 90-minute transfer – either loaded directly on your fare card or as a paper ticket/transfer.

If you have a transfer on your EasyGO fare card, tap your card on the platform card reader, and it will register your transfer.

If you have a valid paper ticket/transfer, scan it on the platform card reader before boarding.

Paying with a multi-ride card - Available winter 2019 

The multi-ride fare card is a disposable electronic card that can be loaded with five to 15 rides. It can be purchased from the fare vending machine at the station. Transfers are built in. Tap your multi-fare card on the platform card reader located at the ION station before boarding.

Paying your fare on the bus

Paying with cash

Insert coins one at a time into the coin slot. The farebox does not accept pennies or bills. The farebox does not make change, so be sure you have exact change.

As you insert your coins, the farebox will show how much you have deposited and how much is owing. When you have paid the full fare, you will hear a ding and the farebox will display "Thank you."

If you need a transfer, wait for the transfer button screen to turn blue. Press the black button to print a transfer.  Check when your transfer expires; the transfer is valid for 90 minutes from the time it was printed.

Using a transfer

Check the expiry time on your transfer to make sure it's still valid. Hold the QR code facedown to the scanner on the top right corner of the farebox. If the transfer is valid, the farebox will ding and the display will show "Transfer Adult".

Paying with tickets

To pay with a GRT paper ticket, show it to the driver and then deposit it in the temporary ticket container next to the farebox.

If you need a transfer, let the driver know. When the transfer button screen turns blue, press the black button to print your transfer.

Tickets will be accepted on GRT buses until ION light rail service starts.

Paying with a U-Pass, Conestoga College pass or EasyGO fare card

The smart card reader is the blue-green rectangle on the lower right corner of the farebox. Hold your card level and square against the card reader and wait for the farebox to ding.

EasyGO messages and troubleshooting

Here's what you'll see on the farebox when you tap your card:

EasyGO payment type and card reader message
Payment typeFarebox/card reader message
Valid monthly pass Monthly Pass 
exp.: DD/MM/YY
Stored value payment - adult card SV Adult $2.76
Rem. Amount: $XX.XX
Stored value payment - senior card SV Senior $2.40
Rem. Amount: $XX.XX
Stored value payment - student card SV High School $2.40
Rem. Amount: $XX.XX
Valid transfer - adult Transfer Adult
Valid transfer - senior Transfer Senior
Valid transfer - student Transfer High School
TAPP pass TAPP
Thank You
Corporate pass Corporate Pass
Thank You
Veteran pass Veteran Pass
exp.: DD/MM/YY
MobilityPLUS pass MobilityPLUS Free

Tips for tapping your card

  • Take the card out of your wallet. If it's next to other smart cards, they may interfere with the signal.
  • Hold the card right against the scanner.
  • Don't pull your card away too quickly. You'll hear a double tone and see the message "Transaction not OK" if your payment hasn't completed.
  • Wait for the previous transaction to clear. The arrow next to the smart card target will turn green when it's ready for you to tap.

If there is an issue with your card and the farebox isn't able to read it, you'll hear a double tone and the farebox message will be outlined in red.

Resolving card and farebox issues 
Farebox messageCard issue
Misread Media Try Again Try tapping your card again, holding it level and square against the card reader.
Smartcard Not Valid Try tapping your card again, holding it level and square against the card reader. If your card still doesn't work after several attempts, contact customer service.
Transaction Not OK You may see this message if your card is moved away from the card reader too quickly. Try tapping again, and wait for the farebox to ding and the transaction to complete.
Not Enough Money You don't have a valid transfer, pass or enough stored value on your card. The operator will ask you to pay a fare. Note: if you have registered your card, you can run a negative balance for one trip if you don't have enough stored value to pay your fare.
Pass Already Used This message shows when a card is tapped twice on the same farebox within five minutes. You may see this message if you leave your card on the card reader too long after the transaction finishes.

Group fares

You can pay for another person or group of people if you have stored value loaded on your card. When you board, 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.

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.

Group fares are not currently available on ION light rail.

If you have a senior or student card, the people you are paying for must also be seniors or students. 

You cannot pay for a group if you have a valid monthly or other pass on your card.