Fare Payment Failures

Fare Payment Failures

Everyone hates Halifax Transit bus tickets. Or more to the point, everyone hates that it’s impossible to know where to buy them. Bus terminals? Ferry terminals? Nope, you can’t get bus tickets there. That would be way too convenient. If you want bus tickets, you have to guess which grocery store or drug store sells them. And then you have to hope one of those stores is close enough to walk to. Oh, and in the time it took to walk to get those tickets? You missed your bus.

Good news, though! Halifax Transit is getting smart payment tech! Electronic tap cards! So you’ll never need tickets again! Right?


Halifax Transit has been talking about upgrading fare payment technology for over a decade. Over a decade of big promises and blown timelines. We’re still waiting.

Let’s take a walk down memory lane. (We have to walk, because we can’t get bus tickets.)

  • 2012. Halifax Transit announces its Transit Technology program, meant to upgrade all kinds of important tech, including fare management. The project has a five year timeline, so that means better payment options by 2017, right? Lol no.
  • 2018. Six years have gone by, and no changes to fare payment tech. But Halifax transit announces a plan for fancy, bizarrely giant bus tickets. But the real news is a plan for new fareboxes that could be the first step towards smart payment tech. Halifax Transit’s proposed timeline: new tickets by late 2018 and new fareboxes in 2019. Lolol.
  • July 2020. Well, 2018 and 2019 come and go, and nothing happens to Halifax Transit’s fareboxes. Halifax Transit proposes, and Council approves, a totally new plan. A much better plan. A plan without giant tickets. Now Halifax Transit is going to get a smart payment app. The big advantage of a smart payment app is that it means rollout can be super fast. So better payment options are coming soon, right? Lmao.
  • July 2022. Halifax Transit has taken two years to select which app they want to buy. Two years! Council approves the new plan to buy the app from a UK company called Masabi. The timeline for rolling it out is four months. So. . . better fare payment options by Nov 2022? Lol lmfao.
  • October 2022. Halifax Transit announces a new timeline. We can expect the new app in December 2022! Rotfl lololol
  • December 2022. New app time, right??? Halifax Transit announces it still hasn’t got a contract signed with Masabi. But as soon as they do, the app will roll out about eight weeks later. So. . . sometime in 2023? Never? <sobbing uncontrollably from laughter>
  • July 2023. Still ZERO (None. Zilch.) electronic fare options. Vague promises of summer 2023 for phase 1 … we are 100% confident that this time they’ll deliver.
  • October 2023. Progress!? Halifax Transit releases information on HFXGO app, for delivery in fall 2023. This will allow riders to purchase and use tickets and passes from their phones. No information on the when we’ll see next steps, like a tap card or open payment technology. Still the same limited number of places to buy tickets, so those who don’t use a phone are still SOL I guess.
  • We’ll keep updating as the exciting, embarassing saga continues!