Le Hoan of the HCM City Management Centre of Public Transport said that buses satisfied only 4.7% of the city’s travel needs, and that most passengers still used printed tickets.
The city has been developing a smart card system which allows passengers to use cards issued by bus companies that are topped up with money to purchase digital tickets, without using cash.
However, he said the city should focus on linking different ticketing systems together into a more universal one.
Tran Dang Thanh, a representative from HCM City Management Authority for Urban Railways, said that many of its ongoing public transport projects are being carried out by many investors under different policies.
“Currently different public transport systems use different types of smart cards, which can be inconvenient for passengers. A single type of card that can be used for all public transport is needed.”
However, this can be a difficult process due to the lack of research into a universal, central server that could process different transportation data, as well as a lack of universal standards for ticketing policies among different public transit systems.
Manoj Sugathan, senior director of Visa Asia Pacific’s Chip, Contactless and Transit Programmes, said that an open-loop contactless payment system (which is being used or piloted in many developed cities and countries) can be applied to public transit in HCM City
The EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) contactless payment technology can be used for debit, credit, and prepaid cards, allowing users to pay for tickets on different public transport systems quickly, without the need to buy specific tickets.
This saves ticket printing and management costs as well as time, and not much infrastructure changes are needed.
The conference was organised by HCM City Department of Transport and Visa, and was attended by over 100 representatives from different companies and city authorities.