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London transit issues smart student bus passes

Paper bus passes will soon be a thing of the past for London students following the announcement that the London Transit Commission will now issue smart cards are hitting the streets just in time for back-to-school — for some.

Per a report from the London Free Press, Fanshawe College students were the first to use the new smart card technology embedded in their student IDs, enabling them to simply tap a terminal to pay their fare. The London Transit Commission has been working on launching the cards since 2012 but glitches and testing have repeatedly delayed the launch.

For the general public, replacing the regular monthly bus pass with the new smart card has been pushed back to October. Meanwhile, some 27,000 Western University students, who receive bus passes as part of their student tuition, will not yet benefit from the new smart bus passes as the university is still updating its student cards with the necessary chip technology.

The new smart card passes are expected to expedite the boarding process, making the system more efficient and running closer to schedule. The London Transit Commission will also be able to discern more information on rider usage, including when and where buses are boarded, giving the commission the opportunity to fine-tune the system.

There have been some reported temporary glitches with some Fanshawe student cards not being accepted by the card readers due to a delay in updating Fanshawe registration information into the London Transit Commission system. The smart card system cost the London Transit Commission roughly $3.7 million to launch.

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