Buses to trial cashless tech

Buses to trial cashless tech

Better payment coming soon for bus number 510. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Better payment coming soon for bus number 510. (Bangkok Post file photo)

The Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) plans to launch a two-month trial allowing passengers on bus No.510 to use cashless payments for fares from next Tuesday.

The BMTA and Krungthai Bank signed a memorandum of understanding on the scheme on Monday.

BMTA deputy director for bus operations, Prayoon Choygeo, said the project is in line with the government's "Thailand 4.0" innovation push.

He said e-payments will form part of the foundation of the country's digital economy.

Passengers can pay fares via electronic data capture devices on board, Mr Prayoon said.

State welfare cards, as well as debit and credit cards, can also be used, he said, noting that passengers can also pay via QR code.

Commuters can also buy cash cards to pay for fares.

Passengers can top up the cards via mobile banking and ATMs or at bank branches, according to Mr Prayoon.

Referring to the BMTA's plan to procure 13,800 new buses, Mr Prayoon said the agency decided to revise it down to 12,093 after the National Economic and Social Development Board questioned the economic viability of the project.

He said 700 buses would be leased this year. That would consist of 400 hybrid and 300 NGV buses.

The BMTA also aims to procure 35 electric buses this year.

The BMTA earlier suspended the use of automatic cash boxes on buses and finally revoked a contract with the supplier, Cho Thavee Plc, as it claimed the equipment fell short of standards stipulated by the terms of reference.

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