Smart Card FAQ

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 online, you should allow 24 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 absolutely sure your pass will be functional, please load your stored value or monthly pass a few days in advance of needing it.

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.

(And don’t forget to register your card)

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

A Smart Card can be loaded at one time from $10 to $100.

How do I check my Smart Card stored value balance?

Stored value balances can be checked easiest online or by visiting an LTC location.

Another way is through the onboard device – when boarding the bus the OBV will display your balance when you tap.

General Questions

Where can I get a Smart Card?

You can obtain a Smart Card from LTC locations (450 Highbury & 150 Dundas).

Income-Related and Youth passes only can also be purchased at City of London locations. Find list of locations under monthly passes.

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, loaded with a monthly pass or stored value, are transferrable between riders if the fare loaded is applicable to the user (i.e. an adult cannot board with a Youth monthly pass).
  • You can load your Smart Card online, making it a contactless and convenient option.
  • Stored value loaded on a Smart Card can be used to pay up to 10 fares for 10 people. The appropriate fare will be deducted and 90-minute transfers will load automatically for each.
  • 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 Adults, $1.70 for Seniors and $1.80 for Students vs. the $3.00 cash fare.
  • Eliminates the possibility of losing your transfer – 90 minute transfers are automatically loaded on your card if tapping with stored value.
  • 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.

Why is it important that I register my Smart Card?

If registered, a lost or stolen card can be blocked online and any remaining balance can be replaced for an administrative fee of $5.00.

As mentioned in the previous question, other benefits with registering your card are that you:

  • can have your transaction history viewed on the web portal
  • can have your purchase history printed
  • can revalued online via the web portal
  • can set up reoccurring purchases

Note that if you block your card online, it will take up to 24 hrs to take effect.

To obtain your new card, you must call (519-451-1347) or email us (ltc@londontransit.ca) in advance. Information will be required in order for us to transfer any balances on to a new card – this can take up to 2 business days and you will need to pick up your card at 450 Highbury Ave.

Please do not arrange to pick-up your card from LTC before receiving confirmation from our staff that your new card is ready for pick-up.

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.

Note that if you block your card online, it will take up to 24 hrs to take effect and that there will be a $5.00 administration fee upon picking up your replacement card.

To obtain your new card, you must call (519-451-1347) or email us (ltc@londontransit.ca) in advance. Information will be required in order for us to transfer any balances on to a new card – this can take up to 2 business days and you will need to pick up your card at 450 Highbury Ave.

Please do not arrange to pick-up your card from LTC before receiving confirmation from our staff that your new card is ready for pick-up.

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.

Note that you can load anywhere from $10 to $100 on a Smart Card.

A Smart Card must first be obtained at an LTC location or have been previously used for a monthly pass in order to load stored value. The Smart Card can be reloaded online or in person at an LTC location.

Why is LTC using 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 as people board
  • 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 but does have an expiry date (you can find your cards expiry date from the web portal) – contact us at ltc@londontransit.ca if your card is about to expire.

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).

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.

Using a Smart Card

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?

Your Smart Card is transferable – it can be shared. As such, ID is not required unless there is a discrepancy between the fare that is being used and the rider using it (i.e. riders may be asked to confirm they qualify for a youth monthly pass).

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.