When the Yangon Bus Service launched a little over a month ago, one of the main proposals that the Yangon government drew up was the implementation of a digital payment system over the next few months. While the Yangon Regional Transport Authority seems to still have their hands full with making sure all the bus lines run smoothly and that old vehicles are upgraded as necessary, it seems like the Yangon government still hasn’t given up on the card system, which they plan on having set up by the end of April.
“We want to set up a payment card system to help lower bus fares. Taking our country’s minimum wage into account, we want to set it [the system] up so that you pay according to how far you travel,” said Yangon Region Chief Minister Phyo Min Thein over the weekend, as quoted by Mizzima.
The current plans for the card system indicate that passengers will swipe or tap their card once when they board the bus and once when they alight, and the bus fare for that journey will be calculated according to the number of miles they traveled. If a passenger forgets to use their card when they get off, they’ll be charged a set fare of MMK200.
However, the digital bus payment system will only be one aspect of a larger Yangon Payment Service, which will allow citizens to also pay for water and rail transportation services with just the one card.
The Minister also noted that ideally, an agreement can be drawn up with local banks to link citizens’ cards with their bank accounts.
This plan sounds promising in theory, although we’re saving our excitement for the day that it becomes more than just a plan.