ELECTRONIC SYSTEM OF FARE PAYMENT
Introduction of electronic system of fare payment in Astana public transport is an integral part of Transport System Modernization Plan. The main purpose of this project is public transportation improvement.
The main objectives of electronic system of fare payment are as follows:
- To provide a flexible tariff policy to improve attractiveness of public transport;
- To implement a unified ticket system for all means of public transport in the capital;
- To generate an accurate statistics on passenger flow distribution;
- To arrange the route network effectively.
Introduction of electronic system of fare payment provides following advantages for Astana public transport passengers:
- Convenience: no need for keeping cash and coins to pay;
- Reduction of cash thefts;
- Expansion in the number of travel ticket points of sale and the types of travel tickets;
- Opportunity to recover customized cards;
- Flexible tariff policy providing cheaper fare for long-term travel tickets.
In addition, electronic system of fare payment facilitates solving following problems:
- Lack of control of single-use bus tickets;
- Lack of accurate data on passenger traffic;
- Concealment of income by employees of public transport;
- Discomfort of existing fare collection system.
In addition, electronic system of fare payment will improve the quality of public services, increase transparency of financial flows and tax collection, reduce time of loading and unloading of passengers and will help to identify so-called “free riders”.
According to the plan, introduction of electronic system of fare payment in public transport of Astana is scheduled for 2015 – 2016. For now:
- Travel card design is agreed upon;
- Server equipment and software have been installed;
- Installation of equipment into buses is carried out; 318 buses are already equipped;
- Training program regarding fare payment equipment operation for bus drivers and conductors has been developed;
- Tariff policy and tariff calculation method is negotiated.
Photographic registration of benefit-entitled citizens as well as school students started to generate customized travel cards within this project. About 60 thousand residents of the city passed through this procedure within a month.
Preparation and design of the system were guided by the best practices of developed countries, which have developed and successfully operating similar electronic systems of fare payment. These are Russian Federation, Belarus, Italy, France, Germany, Great Britain, Israel, Korea and the USA.
Contactless smart cards have been used in Helsinki as an electronic travel ticket since 2006. Single-use ticket can be purchased from the driver or vending machine; it is valid for a bus, subway, tram, ferry-boat and commuter train during an hour with unlimited transfers. SMS-payment is widely used to pay fare. A number of countries enhance attractiveness of the electronic travel ticket using it for discounts in case of cash payment. Helsinki Card is an entrance ticket for many museums and provides discounts for restaurants, concerts and car rental.
London, Great Britain
Travel ticket in London is represented by contactless smart card. A passenger pays by the contactless smart card entering the bus or inside the bus depending on its type. Payment by cash to the bus driver is available as well. Travel by single tickets for bus and metro and cash payment in case of regular travels are unprofitable for a passenger. Travel ticket for subway is valid to pay fare at the bus.
A unified electronic system of fare payment in Chicago covers all travels by subway and urban bus. Along with electronic travel ticket, payment by cash is supported as well. Plastic cards with magnetic stripe and plastic contactless smart cards are used as an electronic travel ticket carrier. A passenger is provided with a discount in case of card replenishment by a big amount. Thus, payment for single travel by cash is unprofitable for a passenger.
Seoul, South Korea
Public transport reform project in Seoul resulted in T-money cards. They provide cumulative discount system for fare payment at all means of public transport. The passengers can change different means of public transport paying for travel just once. The terminal installed in the bus provides fare payment and management of all bus-related processes.