City launches non-cash smart bus tickets

Friday, 2019-03-08 17:30:13
 Font Size:     |        Print

Passengers using UniPass to automatically pay for the bus fare. (Photo:
 Font Size:     |  

NDO – The Public Transport Management Centre under the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport officially put smart cards into operation for local buses on March 8, aiming at promoting non-cash payments and facilitating travel for passengers.

It is expected to mark a milestone for the development of HCM City's public transport and improve service quality to attract more people to take bus rides, contributing to reducing congestion and traffic accidents.

The pilot project is co-invested in by Zion Joint Stock Company and Vietnam Thuong Tin Commercial Joint Stock Bank (VietBank) in the facility, technical solutions, organisational plans and collection services for bus transport businesses.

The pilot use of smart bus cards – namely UniPass – will be implemented within 12 months, in which Zion will deploy the cards from this March on nine bus routes, namely No. 86, 50, 53, 55, 30, 93, 59, 68 and 69 with 141 vehicles.

From July this year, VietBank will invest in seven routes, including Buses No. 10, 18, 28, 45, 54, 91 and 150 with 139 vehicles. In the first phase, local people and students can open free cards at Ton Duc Thang University (District 7) and Saigon Bus Operation Centre (District 1).

Each bus is equipped with a card reader for UniPass. (Photo:

Tran Chi Trung, Director of the HCM City Public Transport Management Centre, said that the technical solutions have been completed and the system is in supervision by a team of monitoring experts to evaluate and update to make it suitable for the actual conditions and technical solutions. Along with that the system’s governance structure is developed in accordance with the conditions in HCM City and the current regulations, Trung added.

When using the UniPass on the routes that have applied smart cards, customers can pay easily with the cards after they have been recharged. Passengers only need to board the vehicles and lightly touch the card on the card reader to complete the payment process. Fares will be deducted directly from the customer’s account balance.

They can also use smartphones to scan a QR code, or pay via ATM cards linked with the set payment banks. In the future, the card will be integrated with other payment functions and is ready to expand to cover various transport types, such as metro, BRT, taxi, waterbus and public bicycles.