Increases in transit fares are necessary to keep up with the growing cost of operating the service and maintaining the fleet. The new fares represent an average increase of approximately 3%. Adjusting fares align with City Council’s multi-year budgeting process.
Proof of Payment: Customers must always have proof of payment on hand when riding ETS. When boarding regular bus service or DATS, fare must be presented or paid when entering the bus. When travelling on LRT, fare must be purchased or validated prior to entering the Proof of Payment areas, marked by blue signage.
Cash: Exact change required. Operators do not carry change. A transfer will be provided.
Tickets: Valid up to 90 minutes from the time of issue when purchased at a fare vending machine, validated by ticket validator in LRT proof of payment areas or deposited into bus farebox (and exchanged for a paper transfer).
Transfers: Transfers can be made between buses and the LRT on a single fare.
- A transfer allows boarding privileges, including return trips, for a period of 90 minutes.
- The expiry time of the transfer is indicated at the time shown on the transfer where it is torn by the bus operator. (Expiry time is at the tear.)
- A valid transfer must be requested from the bus operator at the time the fare is paid.
- Keep your receipt as Proof of Payment until you leave the paid area at your destination.
Passes: Customers using passes must display their valid pass to bus operators upon boarding transit vehicles, or have their valid pass with them when travelling on LRT to display to ETS staff conducting fare checks. Customers using Youth or Senior fare product are required to show proof of age upon request. Monthly passes are valid for unlimited travel from the first day until the last day of a calendar month only.
ETS administration provides fare structure recommendations to City Council as part of the Operating Budget process. February 2018 fare changes were approved by City Council in December 2015 for the 2016-2018 Operating Budget. Council and Committee meetings minutes and reports are available to the public.
Fare structures have several factors that play a role in the pricing strategy including ridership and usage. Additionally, ETS offers subsidized fares to vulnerable groups in order to meet the need for accessible and affordable transit. ETS' fare structure is approved by City Council.
ETS monitors fare changes from other transit systems across the country. ETS fares have been consistently lower than industry averages for most fare categories in Canada. Even with the fare adjustment, Edmonton remains very competitive compared to other municipalities of a similar size. In 2018, Calgary’s adult monthly pass fare is $103 and Ottawa offers an adult monthly pass for $116.50.
Starting February, prices of an Adult Monthly Pass, Senior Monthly Pass, Post-Secondary Pass and DATS Monthly Pass will change. February passes purchased in January will reflect new prices. The price of an Adult Ticket Pack, Youth/Senior Ticket Pack and Day Pass will change as of midnight January 31.
Prices of the Senior Annual Pass and Low Income Senior Annual Pass will also change for the 2018/2019 pass. The Youth Monthly Pass will be adjusted in September to align with school calendars.
Cash fares, the subsidized monthly transit pass under the Ride Transit program and the Universal Transit Pass (U-Pass) for eligible post-secondary students are not increasing.
Customers who are visually impaired and who possess a CNIB ID card can use that card as a transit pass on all ETS services including routes providing service outside the City of Edmonton. Use of a white cane or service animal alone does not qualify an individual for this fare service - the CNIB card must be shown to the bus operator upon boarding.
CNIB ID cards are accepted as valid fare payment on:
- Edmonton Transit (all routes, including DATS for registered DATS users)
- City of Fort Saskatchewan (Route 580)
- City of Spruce Grove (Route 560/562)
- Edmonton Garrison (Route 599)
- Edmonton Airport (Route 747)
- City of Leduc (all routes)
- Beaumont (Route 540)
Edmonton Transit works with each municipality to coordinate transit services. However, each municipality has authority over their own fare policy since transit fares help offset the operating costs and the tax levy that subsidizes the service provided.
The fares for inter-municipal transit trips are typically higher than local fares because of the longer distances and the higher operating costs to provide these services. Most ETS fare products can be used to travel to surrounding areas with an additional cross border surcharge. The surcharge is necessary to ensure that the sale of regional fare product is not undermined.
The introduction of Smart Fare is supported by the Capital Region Board and will enable better and more convenient integration of transit fares throughout the region. For more information on each individual region, see Regional Service.
ETS may be able to provide a refund for certain fare products and programs.
Purchased in error - A prorated refund may be given for passes purchased in error and returned with the value of the ETS Day Pass deducted for each day after the first day of the month if there is no receipt or from date of receipt whichever is relevant. Refund applications are available at the Edmonton Service Centre.
Prior to the 1st day of new month - Full refund
Day 1, 2, 3, and so on - Reduced refund for each valid day by the value of an ETS Day Pass, until there is no refund value
Dated receipt - Reduced refund for each valid day from date on receipt, by the value of an ETS Day Pass, until there is no refund value
Lost in Mail - All ETS Fare product ordered online is delivered by Canada Post, and a signature is required to confirm receipt. ETS cannot be responsible for delayed deliveries by Canada Post. However, if your order is not received and Canada Post confirms that the order has been lost, ETS will honour your purchase with a current valid replacement of the same type of fare product, after confirming with Canada Post.
Death of Passholder - A prorated refund may be given under the following circumstances with the value of the ETS Day Pass deducted for each day after the first day of the month if there is no receipt, or from date of receipt whichever is relevant (see Passes Purchased in Error for more information):
- In the case of death of a monthly pass holder, a prorated refund from the date on the death certificate, when the certificate is presented by the certified executor of the estate and the pass is returned to ETS.
- In the case of the death of a Senior Annual Pass holder, a prorated refund from the date on the death certificate, when the certificate is presented by the certified executor of the estate and the valid pass is returned to ETS.
Damaged Fare Product (washed, torn, and so on) - Monthly passes or tickets that are damaged may be replaced by ETS, provided the type of pass or ticket can be identified and the product is currently valid. Expired fare product or fare product that cannot be identified as currently valid will not be replaced; ETS retains sole discretion regarding replacement in such cases. Replacements are available only at the Edmonton Service Centre.
We do not offer refunds for any of the following items.
- Any confiscated passes and tickets
- The fare product is expired or past it's expiry date
- It was issued through the ETS@Work program
- Any lost, stolen or misplaced fare product
- Regional fare product (must go through regional providers)
- Youth passes purchased at school
For business travellers looking for a receipt for transportation costs to the airport, we recommend that you purchase a strip of adult tickets. Tickets can be purchased via our online store. ETS is currently unable to provide receipts for one-time fare purchases.
For University of Alberta staff, your staff ONEcard is only valid for limited LRT use between South Campus and Kingsway/Royal Alex LRT stations. This pass only allows travel between the University campuses and is not valid for bus service. This pass does not require a sticker, but must be clearly marked "Staff".
As part of the introduction of the smart fare system, ETS is researching annual adult passes. Under a SmartFare system, customers would be protected from the financial loss if their annual pass was lost or stolen.
As our current system uses physical products, customers would be out the money they paid for the pass if it was lost or stolen; and the financial loss associated with an annual pass would be significantly larger than for a monthly pass. A smart fare system will also allow Edmonton Transit to introduce other payment options that customers might find attractive, for example a five-day pass or a 30 day pass that begins on the first day of use rather than a defined calendar period.