Bus Scanners Rendered Unusable

A man using the klapp app in Reykjavík

Strætó has missed payments on its ticketing system, Klapp, leaving the QR code scanners unusable and in need of replacement.

Kjartan Magnússon, city representative for the Independence Party, has stated that the situation has led to excessive costs for Strætó, which it is not in a position to handle.

Serious mistakes have been made in the adoption and implementation of the new payment system, he said.

Read more: Strætó’s New Payment System Off to Shaky Start

Strætó has now had to postpone payment of its bills due to a lack of funds.

According to Kjartan, at an annual meeting of municipal associations, Sorpa, and the Capital Area Fire Department, it came to light that Strætó, Iceland’s public transportation system, is barely operational.

Where annual projections forecast an operational deficit of ISK 93 million, Strætó has actually operated at an ISK 1.1 billion loss just in the first nine months of 2022. The gap between projected and actual losses is significant, and Strætó’s equity has subsequently seen a decrease of ISK 22 million.

Kjartan is quoted in Morgunblaðið as stating: “For a whole year, passengers have received the answer that it was just a growing pain, which would soon be a thing of the past. At the meeting, however, it was stated that the scanners used in the buses would be unusable and the only solution would be to replace them all and buy new ones.”

This will represent significant further costs to an already-struggling transportation system.

Nothing to KLAPP About: Strætó’s New Payment System Off to Shaky Start

public bus Reykjavík

The Strætó bus system’s new payment system, KLAPP, has gotten off to a shaky start, Vísir reports, with many users being denied entry because of a system glitch. Strætó promises major improvements to the system by early this coming week.

Strætó introduced KLAPP in late 2021, and gave riders until mid-March to swap in their old paper tickets for KLAPP credit; paper tickets stopped being accepted on March 1.

Screenshot, Vísir

Strætó CEO Jóhannes Svavar Rúnarsson owned up to the frustrating system errors, saying that the difficulties are “both unexpected and expected, since this is a huge change.” Riders have taken to social media to complain about the issues—most often connection failures within the onboard scanners, which prevent tickets from being scanned. When this happens, befuddled riders are greeted by a red screen on the scanner, accompanied by an error message that reads: “☹Declined — No Valid Ticket.”

Jóhannes says the complaints have been heard loud and clear. “Yes, yes, we’ve heard plenty of dissatisfaction and understand it all too well. And we really regret that this didn’t just go [off without a hitch,] one, two, three. But these kind of things happen with these giant software systems,” he said.

According to information provided by Strætó, there have been between a few odd errors a day to as many as 20. In these instances, he says drivers have been directed to give riders the benefit of the doubt, but there have been a number of instances where people with valid tickets have not been allowed to board.

In addition to the onboard scanner problems, patrons have complained about shortcomings within the app’s functionality. It isn’t currently possible for users to plan their route or monitor bus location in real time in KLAPP, both of which were features in the previous Strætó app. Jóhannes says both omissions will be addressed in the coming week as well.

More information about KLAPP can be found on the system’s website, in English here.

Strætó Implements New Payment System and Fare Changes

Taking public transportation in the Reykjavík capital area will be a little different as of today. Public bus service Strætó has officially implemented a new, contactless payment system called KLAPP. Older payment methods, including the Strætó app, paper tickets, and cash, will continue to be accepted for another year or so.

Three payment methods within KLAPP

KLAPP is similar to payment systems that have been implemented in public transportation systems around the world. It allows users to pay their fare via scanners placed on the buses. Upon boarding, commuters scan a code using the KLAPP card, app, or 10-fare paper pass to pay their fare. The app is available for download for both Apple and Android devices. More information about the Klapp ticketing system is available on the Strætó website.

New price structure introduced

Strætó introduced a new price structure today along with the new payment system. A single adult fare remains ISK 490 [$3.70; €3.26]. Fares for children are lowering: while buses were previously free for those 6 years of age and younger, they are now free for children up to 11 years of age. Annual passes for seniors and those who are 12-16 years of age will rise ISK 15,000 [$113; €100] per year. One-month passes for adults have been reduced from ISK 13,300 [$101; €88] to ISK 8,000 [$60; €53].