After months of planning and preparation, the GO GEORGE Smart Card is finally going live on Thursday 15 November 2018.
George residents could not miss the colourful awareness campaign which was followed by an educational campaign to inform and prepare passengers to be ready to tap their cards when the big day arrives.
“This is a huge change in the way passengers used to manage their transport,” says James Robb, GO GEORGE Manager. “After almost four years of travelling to work and to school by bus, they will have adopted certain habits of when and where to buy their bus tickets and how many, pushing it into the ticket reader while talking to a friend … We know change is uncomfortable, so our team worked tirelessly to share as much information and operational detail as possible, and to answer questions before they even get asked.”
Although the official implementation date is 15 November, passengers who can show their Smart Cards when boarding will travel for free for the first three days after going live – that is Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the 15th until the 17th of November. They will need to use their cards to pay for a trip for the first time on Sunday 18 November.
What about left-over paper tickets?
Although passengers are strongly encouraged to get and use their Smart Cards, paper tickets will still be accepted until 14 December.
“However, it was clear during the transitional week when some buses have already been fitted with the Smart Card equipment, that it unfortunately takes extra time for the bus driver to first punch the paper ticket manually and print the transfer receipt,” says Robb.
“Fortunately, this is temporary, and new habits will soon develop to make the new process familiar, speedy and convenient. The more passengers use Smart Cards, the faster the boarding process will become, and the sooner the real benefits of the Smart Card will be experienced. In the meantime, we are fully aware of the inconvenience of the transition period and call upon employers to be tolerant towards workers who arrive at work late because of the system change.”
Top up in time
Smart Card holders are encouraged to avoid the rush and top up their cards with trips well in time for tapping when boarding from Sunday 18 November 2018.