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

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)

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

(BC Hydro photo)
BC Hydro planned power outages to darken downtown Smithers for most of day Sunday, Jan 17

Replacement of poles will affect approximately 250 customers in downtown core from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Smithers Local Health Area reported 25 new cases of COVID-19 Jan. 3 - 9. (BC CDC graphic)
Weekly new cases of COVID-19 rise to 25 in Smithers LHA Jan. 3 – 9

Northern Health reported 49 new daily cases for 497 active, 44 hospitalized, 13 in critical care

The first of two massive turbines headed from Prince Rupert for the Site C Dam near Fort St. John on Jan 10. (Photo: Supplied by Tasha McKenzie)
Massive turbines begin trek across Northwestern B.C.

Hydro-Electric turbines headed from Prince Rupert to Site C Dam week of Jan. 10 to 14

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)

Most Read