A Concept Was Prepared for a Universal Payment System for Urban Public Transport

15 february 2018

"By order of the Ministry for Transport and as part of the United Nations Development Program we are completing the work on a concept for a universal payment system for urban public transport," said Advisor to the Head of the Analytical Center Igor Ivanov, speaking at the 3rd annual WECON forum "Innovative Payment Solutions for Transport in 2018", which the Analytical Center had helped organizing.

According to Mr. Ivanov a draft concept has already been developed, draft amendments have been prepared for Federal Law No.220 and work is underway to draft amendments to other regulatory documents governing public transport.  A list of requirements has also been compiled for pilot territories for the introduction and testing of key elements of the new concept.

The expert talked about the ideology that the proposed universal payment system is based on. The basic idea is to launch a cloud service that all passengers, carriers, regulators and financial companies will be connected to. This will give them a shared digital space comprising a multitude of segments: federal, regional and municipal information systems that will be running within a shared information space using the same interaction standards. 

"The only thing we can do with smart cards is pay for one trip on public transport," Mr. Ivanov noted, "smart cards do nothing to allow us manage public transport in a comprehensive manner, something that both carriers and regulators would like to be able to do, neither do smart cards meet all the needs of our passengers. The universal payment system we are working on is going to allow us create and manage fairs menus, have delayed payments, manage routes and registries of carries, do monitoring, manage mutual payments and do a bunch of other things."

Speaking of changes in regulations Mr. Ivanov called the attention of those present to the need to not only amend regulations but also harmonize federal, municipal and regional laws with each other.

The expert believes that pilot projects should be used to test the cooperation with various elements of the digital economy that are currently being considered for inclusion in the program. These include smart cities as well as transport and logistics.

"The introduction of the universal public transport payment system in Russia is a serious and very challenging undertaking," Mr. Ivanov said in conclusion, after that he suggested that the participants join forces under the flag of this global task and joint the industry expert community that the Analytical Center is currently in the process of creating. This should bring together representatives of the government, software developers and vendors, opinion leaders and media representatives. It should test hypotheses and demonstrate the best practices as well as hold contests to pick the best solutions.

The WECON forum is a specialized event devoted to the development of payment solutions for public transport, industry regulation, creation of a single transport space, integration of payment systems with urban services and social projects.