Bus coupons set to move over for Muvo smartcards

2014-02-26 00:00

DURBAN will be joining countries across the globe by phasing out bus coupons and using smartcard technology allowing for integrated public transport travel.

By April 1, a smartcard system named Muvo will be in use on all the Mynah and Durban transport routes. The Muvo card has already been in use since 2012 on the People Mover bus service, which run on inner city routes.

The ticketing advancement is part of Durban’s integrated public transport system — Go! Durban — which will begin operation on new routes, some of which will run for 24 hours, and will be operational by 2016.

Similar systems are in use globally, such as London’s Oyster card, Hong Kong’s Octopus card, Stockholm’s Access card, Japan’s Suica and Pasmo cards, and Nigeria’s ETC card.

Thami Manyathi, head of the eThekwini Transport Authority, said April’s move was part of a gradual approach to phase in the card and deal with “teething problems”.

“The system is now operating well with 32 000 commuters having already ‘moved over to Muvo’,” said Manyathi.

What the card can do:

• Either load cash or load specific trips.

• Prepaid trips only expire after three years, unlike the coupon that expires after two weeks.

• Can be used to pay for goods and services at retail outlets that display “Muvo accepted here” signage.

• Each card has a secret pin.

• The card has been certified by Mastercard.

The card is being issued free of charge until May 1, 2014, one month after the bus coupons have been discontinued, from which point a charge will be levied for the card.

Paypoints have been set up at the same locations where bus coupons are sold.

Pensioners, people with disabilities and school pupils will also be catered for with the new system through a concession card programme.

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