‘Validator’ makes bus fare easy



ABU DHABI // Buses covering Abu Dhabi and Al Ain are now equipped with a fare payment device.

Five card “validator” devices have been installed at bus entry and exit doors to calculate and deduct fares. The machines also display a card’s remaining balance.

“I’ve been using this card to test the system for about seven months now,” said a Pakistani bus driver, 45. “We need to make sure the system is ready before the launch. Testing may take another two to three months.”

The fare collection system increases passenger flow and is expected to reduce fare-related fraud and revenue loss through a secured transaction technology.

To provide more point of sales in remote areas for intercity buses, the Department of Transport has installed driver consoles in all buses. This allows passengers to buy and top up their Hafilat cards and pay for their bus fare.

After the introduction of the system, the department plans to provide new and advanced features, including mobile or online payments and the ability to pay for other transport-related services such as taxis, ferries and Mawaqif.

It is also working on plans to introduce near-field communication technology (NFC) onto buses across the network. The move means commuters can use NFC-enabled phones and will no longer need cash or smart cards to pay for their journeys.

There are also plans to increase the 350-vehicle bus fleet, which covers 60 routes within the Abu Dhabi metropolitan area.

The number of routes will also be increased.

rruiz@thenational.ae

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