Smart Card FAQ

General Questions

Do I have to start using a Smart Card for my bus pass now?

Monthly paper passes (Citipass and Weekday) will no longer be available as of April 2019. These monthly passes will need to be purchased on a Smart Card, which are available at LTC locations and can then be reloaded online.

Where can I get a Smart Card?

At this time Smart Cards can be obtained from LTC locations (450 Highbury & 150 Dundas). For Income and Youth passes these can be purchased at City of London locations. Watch for updates on new locations coming soon.

How much does a Smart Card cost?

At this time London Transit is not charging for a Smart Card. However, this is being evaluated and an administrative charge is expected to be added in the near future.

What are the benefits of a Smart Card?

A Smart Card provides many benefits and flexibility for the user.

  • Smart Cards are transferrable between users if the fare loaded is applicable to the user (an adult cannot board with a Student stored value Smart Card). Your Smart Card can be used to pay up to 10 fares for 10 people. The appropriate fare will be deducted and transfers automatically loaded.
  • Smart Cards allow the users flexibility to load a monthly pass one month and stored value another if you will not get full use of the monthly pass cost.
  • A stored value user pays less than a cash fare at $2.25 for an Adult fare and $1.80 for Student fare.
  • Eliminates the possibility of losing your transfer – 90 minute transfers are automatically loaded on your card at time of tapping.
  • If registered, a lost card can be blocked online (can take up to 24 hrs) and remaining balance can be replaced for an administrative fee of $5.00 – replacement can take up to 2 business days.

What is stored value?

Stored value allows riders to load an amount to their Smart Card and then the balance declines as it is used to ride. Stored Value fares will reflect that of ticket prices – Adult fare $2.25, Student fare $1.80 and Senior fare $1.70.

A Smart Card must first be obtained at an LTC location or have been previously used for a monthly pass. The Smart Card can be reloaded online through the web portal or in person at an LTC location. Visit our website for further instructions.

Why is LTC moving to a Smart Card system?

LTC completed a business case assessment for the Smart Card system, which determined that the $3.7 million investment (fully funded by Provincial Gas Tax) has an expected payback of 8 years, noting in addition to the payback, the system:

– provides greater flexibility for the customer in terms of fare options and pricing

– lowers/contains fare administration cost – i.e. currently averaging $0.09 per average cash, ticket and monthly pass fare

– provides more accurate and timely revenue and ridership counts

– links ridership and service data (rides & revenue by time of day, day of week, route)

– supports improved boarding time, reducing dwell time at stops

– mitigates fare disputes i.e. tendering of appropriate fare and transfer use

How long do I use my Smart Card?

Your Smart Card is designed to last for several years. You can reload the card as required either by visiting an authorized reseller of LTC smart media fares or via the LTC website.

Why do some Smart Cards have a “C” in the bottom corner?

Smart Cards that will be used by a holder that pays anything other than an adult fare will have a card with the C in the bottom corner. The “C” represents concession and indicates to the card holder that this card will only load concession fares (student, income related).

Fare Options

Can I still pay a cash fare?

Yes. A cash fare of $3.00 can be paid at time for boarding.

Will I still be able to buy tickets?

Yes. Until further notice, Adult, Student and Senior paper tickets will still be available for purchase in groups of 5 at LTC locations and various vendors across the city.

Adult, Student and Senior stored value Smart Cards?

Fares for stored value cards will be $2.25 for adults, $1.90 for students and $1.70 for seniors (same as tickets). When purchasing a Smart Card depending on the fare, the card will be programmed differently. Therefore for Senior, Student and Adult fares, different Smart Cards will be required.

How will the Operator know what card has been tapped?

The Operator’s display screen indicates the type of fare that has been taken from your card when you tap. For example, if a card with a youth monthly pass is tapped, the Operator will see that a youth pass is loaded on the card and expect the card holder to be a youth. If the card holder appears to not qualify for the type of fare tendered, the Operator will ask the card holder to pay the difference between the fare tendered and the adult fare.

What is happening to paper monthly passes?

Paper monthly passes will no longer be available for purchase for the April 2019 monthly pass. All monthly passes will still be available but must be loaded onto a Smart Card. Be sure to obtain your Smart Card from an LTC location. The monthly pass can then be loaded online or at an LTC location. Other locations for Smart Card purchases will be coming soon.

Loading Smart Card

How long does it take for my card to be updated with a new pass or stored value?

If you load a new pass or stored value on your card at a location with a point of sale terminal, your card will be updated immediately. If you load a new pass on your card via the internet, you should allow 48 hours for your card to be updated.

This delay is due to the required time for the online transaction to be communicated to the devices on all LTC vehicles. To be sure this has happened in time to use the pass, we suggest you load your next monthly pass 3 days before the current pass expires.

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

If loading your card online you should allow yourself at least 24 hours to allow communications between our back-office system and the readers on the buses. The on-board readers are updated only when buses return to the LTC facilities. NOTE: To load a Smart Card immediately, visit an LTC location.

Can I have both a monthly pass and stored value on my Smart Card?

Yes. A Smart Card allows the user to load both a monthly pass and a stored value amount onto the same card. The card reader will use the loaded monthly pass as default payment.

What if I do not load my Smart Card in time and run out of stored value or my monthly pass has expired?

If you tap your Smart Card and the following exists:

  • There is no monthly pass active
  • There is not a valid transfer present
  • The remaining stored value does not cover the amount of fare required for a single ride

The Smart Card will permit one ride by allowing the balance to go into a negative. This negative balance is repaid the next time you add stored value to the card. For example, if your card has a negative balance of $2.25 and you add $20 to the card, your new stored value balance will be $17.75.

How do I load stored value onto my Smart Card?

Smart Cards can be loaded online or at an LTC location (450 Highbury & 150 Dundas). To obtain a Smart Card you must obtain one from an LTC location only. If you already have a Smart Card (i.e. for a monthly pass) loading stored value can be done online – click here

How much stored value can be loaded onto a Smart Card?

A Smart Card can be loaded at one time up to a maximum of $50, holding a maximum value of $100. With a minimum revaluing of $10.

How do I check my Smart Card stored value balance?

Stored value balances can be checked easiest online. When boarding the bus the OBV will display your balance when you tap.

Using a Smart Card

When do I start using my Smart Card?

The monthly pass loaded on your card is effective the 1st of the month you purchased it for (eg. March Citipass is valid beginning March 1st)

If you have a pass from the current month also loaded, you can continue using your card until the last day of the current month.

Note: Monthly passes are available for purchase from the 15th of the previous month to the 10th of the current month.

How do I use my Smart Card to get on the bus?

Upon boarding the bus a blue card reader will be located to the right. Simply tap/lay the card against the area indicated and a green screen with a check mark will appear which means the transaction was successful. If you get a red screen it either means you do not have a valid fare or there has been an error reading the card. Ask the Operator for direction.

Do I need to show my LTC photo id to the Operator when I use my Smart Card?

No, your LTC photo id is no longer required as part of your monthly pass. The pass is now transferable so anyone can use it.

How do transfers work?

When you tap upon boarding the bus, a 90 minute transfer time will be automatically added to your card that will start counting down once tapped.

The 90 minute transfer allows for continued use of transit services for a period of 90 minutes without an additional fare. It is in no way tied to the schedule adherence of the system.

What do I do if my Smart Card doesn’t work?

If you see a red screen with an X, we ask that you take the following steps:

  1. Tap your card again, being careful to hold your card near the reader for 3 seconds
  2. If you continue to experience issues with your card, please bring your card to an LTC location to be checked/replaced.

Registering & Lost Smart Card

Do I have to register my card online?

The choice to register your card online is yours. The functionality of the card is not impacted by whether the card has been registered.

Why should I consider registering my card?

There are a number of benefits associated with registering your card, noting cards that have been registered:

  • can be blocked if lost or stolen
  • can be replaced if they are lost or stolen
  • can have their transaction history viewed on the web portal
  • can have their purchase history printed
  • can be revalued online via the web portal
  • can set up reoccurring purchases

What if I have lost my Smart Card?

We encourage all Smart Card users to register their Smart Cards online so that the recovery and replacement process is possible. If you lose your Smart Card and it is registered follow the Lost Card instructions. This process can take up to 2 business days as well there will be a $5.00 administrative fee.