Transition to a cashless bus fare launches

Turkmenistan is actively introducing new technologies in the sphere of rendering services to the population. Such another step was the transition to a new electronic payment system, started in September in public transport in Ashgabat.

Soon the new system will give an opportunity to get rid of cash settlement that will considerably simplify the payment procedure for both drivers and passengers.

Even today in various city’s points of sale, there are electronic cards of three types – general, for schoolchildren and pensioners. General contactless cards work on the principle of electronic wallet, from which the cash will be automatically deducted when dealing with the scanning unit (validator), mounted on all metropolitan buses. While the fare remains the same – 30 tenges.

Electronic cards for schoolchildren and pensioners operate other way – they are replenished once a month with the sum of 1 and 2 manats, respectively. This operation allows them to freely use public transport within 30 days from the date of payment, upon which the same card can be topped up at post offices, branches of “Senagat” Bank, as well as automatic self-service terminals, located in public places.

Method of fare payment in the new technology is eased to the utmost. Entering a bus through the front door, passengers must put an electronic card to the validator. Lighting green, the machine will instantly inform about a successful operation, also displaying the information about the cardholder’s cash amount. Exit, as befits, will be through the back door of a vehicle.

Creating the conditions for a comfortable, fast and safe movement around town, the electronic payment system provides for various situations which the users may face. Passengers, non-crediting their account in time, will be able to make several more ridings on credit. After crediting the card, debt is paid off automatically.

The implementation of this system provides for a constant monitoring by means of satellite navigation, which tracks bus routes, records and processes all the information that will be used to improve schedule of routes. Applying the technology of “Big data”, the specialists of the Ministry of Transport will develop the best scheme of public transport that will reduce and increase the number of buses depending on density of passenger throughput at a particular time point.

Validators are equipped with wireless communication devices through which information about the fare payment is transmitted to the servers of “Senagat” Bank – the main contractor on electronic payment system implementation. Receiving data in real-time mode, bank employees will be able to optimize transport and to maintain accurate reporting of the received funds. In addition, practical steps are being taken for the introduction of new types of check cards, operating on the principle of noncontact payment, thereby allowing to pay fares directly from the owner’s key account.