A passenger uses a smart card for automatic bus fare payment on bus route No. 86 in HCM City. — Photo courtesy of the Department of Transport
HCM CITY — The HCM City People’s Committee plans to establish technical standards to develop a single smart card that could be used for all types of public transport.
The city aims to create inter-linkages between automatic fare collection (AFC) systems as well as convenience for card users.
If metro lines, rapid buses and water buses have many kinds of AFC systems, the cost to interlink these systems would be too high, according to city officials.
The committee has sought clearance from the Ministry of Transport to give the city the authority to decide on the technical standards for all AFC systems in public passenger transport on waterways and roads.
An AFC system is in line with the city’s smart-city project which promotes the use of cashless payments.
In a related issue, the city’s Transport Department is considering investment in an automatic payment system that could be used for all types of public transport.
The city launched a one-year pilot project on the use of cashless payment for public buses in March 2019, and later extended it to the end of this year.
The pilot is expected to encourage more residents to use the bus system. Passengers need to register to get a bus card, which is similar to a bank card.
The cashless payment was first used on bus route No 86 from Bến Thành Market in District 1 to Tôn Đức Thắng University in District 7.
The project is being piloted on a total of eight bus routes instead of 18 bus routes as previously planned. More than 10,300 smart bus cards were issued to passengers by the end of last year.
After preliminary review and evaluation, the city will decide on how to proceed with the project.
The pilot scheme will also be applied to metro lines, rapid buses and boats in the future.
The Việt Nam Thương Tín Commercial Joint Stock Bank (VietBank) and Zion Company received approval to carry out the pilot project, which uses capital from enterprises instead of funds from the city or state budget. — VNS