The launch of LTC’s smart card technology is underway!

The following Q&A’s are provided to answer some of the most commonly asked questions. If you have other questions, please contact us at 519-451-1347 or via email at

Please be advised that if a newly issued card is tapped before the 1st of the month for which it was purchased, a ticket fare will be deducted from the stored value on the card because a negative balance of one fare is allowed and the pass is not yet active.
 Do I have to start using a smart card for my bus pass now?
Paper passes and photo IDs will be phased out eventually, but for now LTC customers may choose to continue using the existing paper pass style OR switch to a smart card.
 How do I register my smart card once I have it?
Click here for instructions on how to register your smart card.

If you would like to register your smart card now, click here.

 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.
 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 see the red screen again, show your card to the operator and
              continue boarding.
          3. Try your card again on your next trip. If you continue to experience
              difficulty, please contact the LTC and advise of the error message and
              Test Card serial number.

 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 (currently LTC offices only) or via the LTC website.
 Can I share my smart card with my friends or family?
The fare media loaded on your smart card is transferable. This means that you can share your monthly pass with a friend or family, as long as you are not travelling together. The monthly pass loaded on your smart card allows only one rider to board the bus.
 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.
 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 (senior, child, student).

If an adult attempts to board with a smart card with a “C” on it, they will be requested by the operator to pay the difference between the concession fare on the card and the adult fare.

 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 senior monthly pass is tapped, the operator will see that a senior pass is loaded on the card and expect the card holder to be a senior. 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.
 How long does it take for my card to be updated with a new pass?
If you load a new pass 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 processed and confirmed. Given this delay, we suggest you load your next monthly pass 3 days before the current pass expires.

 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 replaced if they are lost or stolen
can have their transaction history viewed on the web portal
can have their purchase history printed for income tax reporting
can be revalued online via the web portal

 What do I do if I lose my card?

If you have registered your card online, and you have lost your card or believe it to have been stolen, please take the following steps:

1.    Login to the web portal and choose the “block your card” option under the Manager your Cards tab.  Please note: once your card has been blocked, it cannot be unblocked if you find it, it will need to be replaced.

2.    Call LTC at 519-451-1347 and report your card lost/stolen and request a replacement.  If you have been unable to block your card via the web portal, an LTC representative can do this upon your request.

Your request for a replacement card will be processed in 2 business days and you will be notified when your card is ready for pick up.  Same day replacements can not be accommodated.  A $5 administration fee will apply for the replacement of a lost/stolen card, payable upon pickup of the replacement card.
 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:

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

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

ü  provides more accurate and timely revenue and ridership counts

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

ü  supports improved boarding time, reducing dwell time at stops

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

 How will the card work?



Simply tap your test card on the card reader located at the front door of the bus. The screen on the reader will display as indicated below.

If  you see a green screen with a checkmark,
your trip has been recorded.

If you see a red screen with an X, your fare has not been tendered.

 When will the system be available to all customers?

The planned phasing steps are set out below, noting subsequent steps will not be initiated until such time as any issues with the current step have been addressed.

    √  Fanshawe students tapping their cards
    2.  Issuance of smart cards to the general public for monthly passes
    3.  Reloading of monthly passes via internet and at revaluing locations
    4.  Issuance of smart cards to the general public for stored value (ticket fares)
    5.  Reloading of stored value via internet and at revaluing locations
    6.  Western students tapping their student cards

Status to Date:

Effective September 1, 2015, Fanshawe students began tapping their student cards on the smart card readers to record their trip. 

Beginning on January 20, smart cards will be available to the general public at LTC locations only (450 Highbury and 150 Dundas). Initial launch of the smart cards will include monthly passes for February only (Citipass, Weekday pass, Senior pass or Post-Secondary Monthly pass).

 What fare products will the smart card replace when the system is launched?
The smart card fare media will see:

ü  all existing monthly pass fare programs being replicated on smart card. The smart card passes become transferrable (no photo id), within defined parameters

ü  the tuition-based pass programs integrated with the smart card system. The tuition-based pass programs will continue to be non-transferrable

ü  all existing ticket fare programs being replicated on smart cards as stored valued cards replacing the paper tickets

ü  the existing 90 minute transfer will be automatically loaded on the smart card at time of fare payment so if you tap again within the 90 minute window, no fare will be deducted from your card

 What are some of the other features of the smart card system?

ü the system will function with LTC smart cards only, it will not interface with debit or credit cards. This option will be reassessed in the future.

ü the smart cards will be reloadable (revalued)

ü smart card distribution and revaluing will occur at LTC locations and selected number of third party locations

ü the internet can also be used to revalue a smart card

ü debit/credit cards will be accepted at LTC locations for purchase of smart card fare media (Please note: debit/credit is currently available at 450 Highbury and the downtown ticket office)

ü renewal passes can be purchased online using Visa or MasterCard

 Will paper passes and tickets be phased out immediately when the smart card system is launched?
Smart cards will be introduced slowly, allowing LTC customers to make the decision to change from the traditional paper fare media, however at some point in the future, the paper passes and tickets will be phased out. The dates for elimination of paper passes and tickets will be communicated well in advance.  Cash fares will continue to be accepted on all LTC services.
 How will I claim my monthly pass purchase on my income tax without a paper pass as proof?
The LTC is currently working with the Smart Card vendor to develop a report suitable to support the Public Transit Tax Credit claim. Unfortunately said report is unavailable at this time.

However, the following information or documentation is currently available and could be used to support your tax claim:

  • receipts issued from LTC portal for web based pass sales (issued at time of purchase only)
  • transaction listings within LTC portal (indicating what passes were used in a specific month)
  • cash register receipts and debit/credit card receipts from LTC point of purchase locations indicating date and amount of pass sale
  • bank statements indicating purchases from LTC

In many cases, this may be sufficient support for a claim.

NEW as of Jan 25, 2017:

If the above is unavailable, please contact LTC via e-mail at or by calling 519-451-1347 to request additional support. Please provide the following information with your request:

  • Name (as per the registered card account)
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Smart Card Serial Number (those registered on the above account)
  • Indicate which months and which pass type (i.e. Citipass, Weekday, Senior, Post Secondary, Student Summer) should have been active
  • Indicate whether hard copy (mail) or electronic copy (e-mail) is preferred
A report will be e-mailed or mailed within 5 business days.
 How will I be able to tell the balance remaining on my card?
The on-board validator will display the remaining balance on your smart card each time you tap. Additionally, you can ask the operator to “query” your card, and you will be able to see the balance at any time. There is also a reminder tone that will play when the balance on your smart card is getting low, or the monthly pass is close to expiry.

Also, if you register your card on the web portal, you will be able to see a transaction history and balance at any time.

 Can the smart card be used on both conventional and specialized services?
Yes, the smart card can be used on both the conventional and specialized services

ü all conventional buses will have fixed smart card readers at the front doors of the bus - customers will tap with their smart card  to record the trip, levy the appropriate fare and apply the 90 minute transfer

ü hand-held readers will be utilized on all specialized vehicles to record the trip, levy the appropriate fare and apply the 90 minute transfer