No need for coins on Putco buses

Zweli Mokgata

Zweli Mokgata

Sowetans no longer need to carry cash to pay for fares on Putco buses thanks to a new smart-card system.

It may become the basis for an integrated public transport system for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

Putco managing director Franco Pisapia said: "It will reduce the risk of customers who have to carry cash to purchase tokens. These smart cards can be recharged on a weekly, monthly or season ticket level."

The smart card system was provided by Questek Transit Technologies, which designed and installed it in the first 350 buses in the pilot programme launched in Soweto yesterday.

Putco plans to expand this to its entire 1700 bus fleet.

Questek general manager of transit technologies Ronald Sallis said the entire project cost about R7,5million over two-and-a-half years from the initial design phase to the current stage.

The software will provide an on-bus smart card-based revenue management system, which will manage routes and record data such as passenger behaviour, popular routes, type of tickets purchased and vehicle tracking.

Johannesburg transport mayoral committee member Rehana Moosajee said the new system was a step towards the integration of public transport systems in the country.

The technology could be implemented on trains, buses and taxis without the commuter having to change payment methods, she said.