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

Clearwater RCMP look for missing Alberta man

Wayne Theriault was last believed to have been seen on March 24

Clearwater charity helps local man with medical costs

Group brings in $1,200 in 20 minutes

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

COVID-19 brings burning ban to Clearwater and area

The reason for the ban is to help reduce excess air pollution in populated air-sheds

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

B.C.’s intersection speed cameras putting more tickets in the mail

One Nanaimo location delayed after speed limit reduced

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

High cost, limited coverage for asthma medicine a concern during COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. man says he skips puffs to save money, but others have it worse

B.C. man sick with COVID-19 calls it a ‘horrible disease’

Tim Green says he has ‘extreme coughing fits every hour’ to clear his lungs

Trudeau says Parliament needs to sit to pass expanded COVID-19 benefits

Wage subsidy program has been greatly expanded since it was first approved

UPDATE: Anti-tax group calls for MPs, senators to donate scheduled pay raises to charity

Bill C-30, adopted 15 years ago, mandates the salary and allowance increases each calendar year

Liberals delay release of 75% wage subsidy details, costs: Morneau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

World COVID-19 update: NATO suspicious of Russian military drills; Cruise ships ordered to stay at sea

Comprehensive update of coronavirus news from around the world for Wednesday, April 1

Most Read