Taipei, A mobile payment system for bus rides kicked off Tuesday on a trial basis in Taiwan, allowing passengers to pay their fares with the use of cellphone apps, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) said.
The pilot program, which started with five bus services in different parts of the country, utilizes mobile payment services provided by Easy Wallet, LINE Pay Money and icash PAY, the MOTC said.
Users of those service providers can obtain a QR code on their phones, which will be scanned by the ticket machines on the buses, the ministry said.
The buses participating in the pilot program are No. 1800 and No. 2088, which run between Taipei and Keelung cities; sightseeing bus No. 9189 in Kenting, southern Taiwan; and city buses No. 865 and No. 866 in Guguan, central Taiwan, according to the ministry.
During the six-month trial period, passenger trends will be observed on the participating intercity, sightseeing and city buses, and the data collected will be used to improve the service and expand the program to 15,000 buses across the country by 2025, Transportation Minister Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said.
Meanwhile, passengers using mobile payment apps on the participating buses will get discounts on the fares — an NT$25 and NT$31 reduction on the intercity and sightseeing buses and a 50 percent discount on the city buses, according to the ministry.
Passengers using the mobile payment apps will also gain points from the three providers, equivalent to 20 percent of the fare, the ministry said.
Passenger rides on Taiwan buses average 1.2 billion per year, which translate into NT$33.1 billion (US$1.18 billion) in revenue, according to Lin.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel