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BUS commuters in KwaZulu-Natal might by November start using smart cards to pay for their trips instead of cash.
Transnat Africa, which runs the eThekwini municipality's bus services, is considering a smart card system that will allow commuters to swipe the card on each trip.
The company expects to have the new card system in operation by the beginning of November this year.
Transnat Africa chief executive Mike Jesserman said yesterday the new system was another way for the company to improve bus services in Durban.
Jesserman said: "Compared with the current system, where commuters buy trips in the form of a bus ticket which expires afterwards, the smart card system means that the cards won't expire and commuters would not lose any money."
Jesserman said that unlike a ticket, which any person can pick up and use, it was not possible with the smart card.
He said the smart card had a PIN number, which the owner could use when boarding. If the cards were lost, the owner could be issued witha new one on request.
"With this kind of security commuters can have peace of mind. A decision on whether to implement the smart card system is expected to be made soon," said Jesserman.
Meanwhile, Transnat Africa has been awarded a contract to also operate a bus service in Durban's inner city.
Transnat Africa was initially awarded a contract in July to operate in the outer city, but later the company was also given the task of running Mynar buses. Mynar buses operate within Durban's central business district.
Mynar buses started operating on Monday, almost two months after the previous bus company, Remant Alton, closed shop due to financial problems and alleged mismanagement of funds.
Though there are still very few Mynar buses back on the city's roads,Jesserman said they were planning to add new ones to the existing fleet.