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HCMC plans single pay card for multiple transit services
The Saigon Times Daily
Sunday,  Sep 23, 2018,09:10 (GMT+7)

HCMC plans single pay card for multiple transit services

The Saigon Times Daily

Passengers get on a bus in HCMC. The city plans a single card for multiple transit services such as bus, river boat and urban railway – PHOTO: LE ANH

HCMC - HCMC plans to issue a single card, which commuters can use to pay for multiple public transport services, such as bus, river boat and urban railway.

At a seminar on contactless payments in public transport, held by the HCMC Department of Transport on September 21, Tran Chi Trung, director of the HCMC Public Passenger Transport Management and Operation Center, said the city offers some 20,000 bus routes daily, including both subsidized and non-subsidized, carrying about one million passengers.

At present, 86% of bus service payments are made in cash, while the remaining 14% are paid through monthly tickets. The city has to spend big printing bus tickets each day.

In addition, the center cannot make the statistics about the number of daily commuters to plan for the smooth operation of bus routes.

The center also finds it difficult to operate bus routes, as the city currently has seven different fare levels for bus tickets provided by 25 public transport companies.

Trung proposed introducing smart cards to gradually replace paper tickets in the shortest time.

A representative of the HCMC Management Authority for Urban Railways noted that the funding for metro line projects comes from various sources, so the methods to collect fares are partly decided by investors.

HCMC has planned to develop eight metro lines, three tramways and monorail lines, and bus rapid transit (BRT) systems and bus routes. The single card for all public transport services will assist local commuters, added the representative.

However, the card integration faces obstacles in data formats, server connections and fee collection methods.

Tran Quang Lam, deputy director of the municipal Department of Transport, said that the city expected 1.5-2 million, or 15-20% of local residents, would use public transport services.

According to a plan to improve public transport and control private vehicles, the city will develop metro lines No. 1 and 2 and BRT systems by 2030. Besides this, the city will limit the number of newly-registered cars and vehicles from neighboring provinces entering the city.

Payments via cards should be begin prior to 2020, said Lam, adding that the cards could also be used for payments at restaurants and shops. This year, the city will draw up a roadmap to quickly launch the e-ticket system.

Manoj Sugathan, director of the chip, contactless and transit payment program for world leading digital payment service provider Visa, suggested the city should apply the EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) contactless payment technology to allow local commuters to pay for bus and metro fares.

Additionally, Sean Preston, Visa country manager for Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, said Visa attaches much importance to the cooperation with the HCMC Department of Transport to develop a digital payment system for improving the city’s public transport systems.

The single contactless payment card will also be used for public transport services connecting to the key southern economic zone and other localities across the country.

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