Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — A pilot project that uses cashless payments on public buses kicked off yesterday in HCM City.
The pilot, which will last for one year, is expected to encourage more residents to use the bus system.
After a preliminary review and evaluation, the city will decide on how to proceed with the programme.
Speaking at the kick-off ceremony, Trần Quang Lâm, deputy director of the city’s Department of Transport, said the pilot would also be applied to the metro, rapid bus, and boats in the future.
The automatic payment system is in line with the smart urban city plan, according to Lâm.
Trần Chí Trung, director of the city’s Public Transport Management Centre, said the cashless payment would first be used on bus route 86 from Bến Thành Market in District 1 to Tôn Đức Thắng University in District 7 before being expanded to the rest of the public bus system.
The Public Transport Management Centre worked with interested companies and banks to come with proposals of the pilot.
In February, the deputy chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, Trần Vĩnh Tuyến, approved the Việt Nam Thương Tín Commercial Joint Stock Bank (VietBank) and Zion Company to start the pilot project.
The project will use capital from enterprises instead of funds from the city or state budget.
Passengers will first need to register to get a bus card, which is similar to a bank card.
When scanned with special equipment on the bus, passengers can pay for the tickets in various ways, or it will be directly deducted from their bank account or from the linked ZALO PAY e-wallet.
Vũ Ngọc Quỳnh Như, of Gò Vấp District, said, “I think residents will be excited because it’s easy and convenient, especially for students, to use the card for automatic payments, just like in Hong Kong or Singapore.”
“It can save a lot of time for passengers and money for the State due to the cost of printing tickets,” she told Việt Nam News.
Students who enjoy a lower fare do not need to present a student card when using the smart e-ticket system. When the card is issued, the system will include name of students and universities and schools year.
During the pilot period, the purchase of tickets by cash and presence of bus attendants will still be maintained until passengers get used to the smart e-ticket system.
In a related issue, the city’s People’s Committee agreed to develop a single card that will be used for all types of public transport.
In the future, multiple types of public transport such as metro and express bus routes will be operating. If many kinds of automatic ticket systems exist, the costs to interlink systems would be too high.
The transport department is considering investment in an automatic payment system that could be used for all types of public transport. — VNS