HCMC bus operator to trial ‘smart cards’

The Ho Chi Minh City Public Transport Operation and Management Center will initiate a program allowing passengers to use “smart cards” on the Saigon-Binh Tay and Ben Thanh-Au Co-An Suong bus routes on a trial basis, the center’s manager said January 12.

A bus station in Ho Chi Minh City. (Filed photo)

The center will apply smart card technology from February 1 on the Saigon-Binh Tay route and from March 1 on the Ben Thanh-Au Co-An Suong route.

Both monthly and yearly cards will be available.

Buses will be equipped with a card reader that subtracts funds from cardholders’ accounts. Passengers can charge more money to their accounts as necessary.

For yearly cards, passengers must add at least VND69,000 (US$3.60) to their accounts each time, tantamount to 30 trips or VND2,300 per trip.

The card will be valid for one year and there is no limit to how many times passengers can add money to their accounts.

A monthly student card can be purchased for a minimum of VND63,000 (US$3.30), equivalent to 60 trips or VND1,050 per trip.

Monthly cards for all other passengers, meanwhile, cost a minimum of VND90,000 (US$4.70), equivalent to 60 trips or VND1,500 per trip.

There is no limit to how many times passengers can add money during the month, and cards can be pre-paid for up to two months.

Passengers can add money to their cards at the Saigon Bus Station, Le Lai Street, District 1 and Cho Lon Bus Station.

A one-time fee of VND30,000 (US$1.6) is applied for new and replacement cards.

By D.Ly- Translated by Tran Tran

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