On a mechanic’s suggestion, administrative staff scored 28 used fareboxes sitting in California storage and saved $300,000. (B.C. Transit Photo)

B.C. Transit finds 28 used fareboxes online, saves $300,000

‘Someone joked maybe we can buy used fareboxes on eBay,’ CEO says

As BC Transit continues to add to its fleet and gradually convert the more than 1,000 buses to electric power by 2040, each new bus also needs a new farebox.

Earlier this year, BC Transit held an executive meeting on the transition from the current fareboxes to the new electronic fare collection system.

Someone joked that they should consider buying used fareboxes on eBay.

“We all laughed at the idea,” said president and CEO Erinn Pinkteron in a recent newsletter to staff. “However, after trying unsuccessfully to come up with other options, we realized quickly that we had nothing to lose by considering this further.”

READ MORE: Greater Victoria to add 10 electric buses thanks to federal-provincial boost

With new buses being delivered in 2020, and BC Transit’s new electronic fare collection system in the early stages, project managers needed to know what fareboxes they should be installing, she said.

“At just over $13,000 per bus, it is a tough decision to purchase our existing fareboxes when we know that we will be phasing them out.”

In fact, as the use of cash continues to decrease in the daily routine of Canadians, BC Transit is in the process of moving its customers to a “bring your own ticket” model. It means the use of a ticket on a phone, or monthly pass, and they see a future where the cashboxes will be much simpler and less expensive than the existing one.

“We contacted almost every transit agency in North America that uses Cents-a-Bill fareboxes, hoping they had some to spare,” Pinkerton said.

They had scoured eBay and other sites unsuccessfully when one of BC Transit’s own mechanics told them about a Facebook group dedicated to transit memorabilia and bus parts.

“We joined the group and called the moderator,” Pinkerton said. “[They] put us in contact with three vendors in California that, combined, had 28 fareboxes for sale.”

A small team of BC Transit employees flew to California, rented a U-Haul truck and purchased the fareboxes, Pinkerton said, adding it was a challenge getting the equipment back to Victoria. The team drove to the U-Haul full of fareboxes to the warehouse in Las Vegas of bus-building company Alexander Dennis, whose staff packaged them on pallets and shipped them.

“Four days later, our fareboxes arrived and we were able to have them service ready for about $2,500 each, including all the adventure costs to get them,” Pinkerton said.

Compared to the cost of purchasing new it saved almost $300,000.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A small team of B.C. Transit staff picked up 28 used fareboxes sitting in California storage, put them in a U-Haul, and took them to a warehouse in Las Vegas where they were shipped to Victoria. (B.C. Transit Photo)

Just Posted

City cancels plans for homeless camp on Homewood Road; exploring alternative option

Cancellation comes as a surprise after city official discusses topic a day earlier

Tahsis opens its gates to visitors to save local economy

Seasonal local businesses that rely on tourism hope to survive despite drop in tourist numbers

SRD rejects ex-board member’s request to continue as Tlowitsis TAC representative

Area D director, Brenda Leigh, takes over as SRD’s representative after ex-Sayward mayor, John MacDonald’s exit

Music education remains important, especially during pandemic

‘Music really does lift people up in times of trial,’ says Sandowne music teacher

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Mirror business directory and map

If you’d like to be added to the list, shoot us an email

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Habitat for Humanity VIN wins national award for innovative approach to building

Courtenay and Campbell River builds represent 400 per cent growth in historical annual average

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

Study looks at feasibility of Vancouver Island abattoir

South Island Prosperity Partnership funds study looking at local meat processing

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

Most Read