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Nelson to adopt BC Transit’s mobile fare program for public transit

Buying a bus pass in our region will become easier next year.  

The City of Nelson will be adopting BC Transit’s mobile fare program for public transit systems in 2024.  

The program, called Umo, will allow transit users to pay for transit fares through mobile app or with a reloadable transit pass. 

The decision to adopt the program in Nelson was discussed by city council Tuesday. Councilor Rik Logtenberg said the intent of the program is to promote rider convenience and encourage individuals to use the city transit system.   

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“The overall goal is to increase convenience. Especially with the app, one of the great things about it is kind of focuses more on people who aren’t necessarily riding [transit] today, broadening ridership and making public transit a more attractive option over taking a car.”  

BC Transit says the Umo system will be the first time BC transit users will be able to use a mobile app to pay fares. However Translink, which is the transportation service used in Metro Vancouver, has a re-loadable transit card system in place already and it has proven to be successful in increasing ridership and improving transit user experience. 

The program also aims to aid in the city’s ongoing efforts to promote sustainable transportation and reduce carbon emissions.  

BC Transit says they anticipate the program will be introduced in the West Kootenay Transit System later this year.  

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story said the City of Nelson will be “adopting the BC government’s mobile fare program for public transit systems in 2024.” In fact, it is an initiative of BC Transit, which is a Crown corporation.  

The earlier version of this story also stated the province’s mobile fare program was launched in 2018 and is currently being used in Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna which BC Transit has since also corrected. 

BC Transit also says the roll out of this program is anticipated late this year, whereas the City of Nelson’s report that stated it will be implemented 2024/25.

More information on Umo is available here. 


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