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

Kelowna’s last video store, Leo’s Video, to remain open despite failed sale

Kelowna’s last video rental store will remain open and under its namesake’s ownership

Two-vehicle collision slows traffic on Highway 97

Harvey is down to two lanes heading east past Dilworth is closed while crews clean up

Construction starts for new middle school in Lake Country

H.S. Grenda Middle School is scheduled to open in Sept. of 2021

Kelowna RCMP arrest three after string of break-ins from car dealerships

Police arrested the final suspect on Jan. 15 and recovered a Jeep worth around $84,000

Province could soon allow e-scooters on Kelowna streets

Okanagan e-scooter companies are currently limited to certain areas in the city

Older Canadians highlighted in Kelowna film project to fight ageism

The project is part of a campaign to combat ageism

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Princeton – a Prince Town in waiting?

The Town of Princeton has been waiting 160 years for a Royal… Continue reading

Group builds shelters for Vernon’s stray cats

Twenty insulated cat shelters were constructed by volunteers and delivered around town

UBCO partners with Boeing to test new anti-ice coating technology

The coating could one day be applied to all airplanes to prevent ice buildup

Revelstoke already double last year’s snowfall

The city is just below halfway to the snowiest winter on record

True Stories: Okanagan memoir-writers, reading

Reading with local North Okanagan writers Art Dalton, Patti Shales Lefkos, Raven Dahl, Janelle Hardy

COLUMN: Choosing a face to show the world

It will not be easy to select the face to display on Canada’s new $5 bill

Most Read