Transport Fares to be Made Exclusively Electronic

22 february 2017

A discussion held at the Analytical Center covered the issues related to the development of electronic payment systems regarding the fare payment on regular passenger transport. The experts reviewed their development from the point of view of the authorities, developers, integrators, the research community and passengers themselves.

Yuri Ryabikov, Project Manager at NovaCard JSC, spoke about the Citycard fare payment system implemented in Nizhny Novgorod. "Over 400,000 people in our region use transport cards, and the majority of them have special preferences. As all the people who have preferential transport documents are personified, we can keep the exact statistics of their trips," the expert said. Talking about the innovations introduced by the company, the expert mentioned the use of mobile applications, in particular, the center for topping up transport cards from any location. "Those who do not have mobile phones can top up their card at the terminal, which is also used to check the balance, or at Sberbank self-service terminals," Mr. Ryabikov explained.

Talking about the results of the Citycard project, the expert noted that the administration of Nizhny Novgorod had received an effective tool for managing the public transport, as well as a transparent way for keeping record of the trips, including those by citizens of privileged categories, whereas the residents of the city could enjoy a convenient and efficient payment method for transportation and other services in the city. Moreover, people in the city are developing a habit of using cashless payment methods, which, according to Ryabikov, have to be made available throughout the country. "The absence of a fare collector means increasing the economic efficiency of transport companies," the expert believes.

Denis Mikhnev, Project Manager at Udobniy Marshrut LLC, spoke about his company's experience in the use of mobile SIM cards for fare payment. "The idea to introduce payments with the use of a mobile phone seems nice, but it cannot be implemented in Russia, because few people would agree to pass their phone through other passengers to the driver on a bus or minibus to pay the fare. The situation in our country is not suitable for that," the expert commented. Mr. Mikhnev believes that the use of bank cards offers great opportunities, so the company is developing this particular area.

A special discussion was devoted to the issues of alignment of the regulatory framework with the current level of technology development. Some experts believe that the current legislation is far from perfect, as there are still no single rules and level playing field.

The event was held by the Analytical Center in cooperation with the project of the United Nations Development Program / Global Environmental Foundation of the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation "Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Road Transport in the Cities of Russia."