In Kyiv, a cashless fare payment system in the capital's marches was launched in test mode. Introduced a novelty on route No. 444 (metro station "Vystavkovyi Center" – Metrologichna Street), which serves the largest metropolitan private carrier "Soyuz-Auto". The site TSN.ua found out how the innovation works, how much money carriers spent on equipment and whether the fare will rise after that.
Works without failures: how to pay the fare
The Kyiv City State Administration informs that you can pay for travel in minibus No. 444 with a bank card, both plastic and with the help of gadgets with NFC function, as well as a transport card and a Kievite's Card.
To pay for the fare, it will be enough to attach a bank card or gadget with the contactless payment function to the validator.
Passengers write that funds are debited from the wallet, by analogy with the city train. Concessionary tickets are validated without problems.
"Everything is working normally, there have been no comments and complaints from the carrier and passengers, but a significant period of time is needed to sum up any results and provide full results. Currently, no failures or problems have been recorded," the Department of Information and Communication Technologies of the Kyiv City State Administration told TSN.ua.
They confirm that validators installed within the framework of the pilot project are on the balance sheet of the communal enterprise "Main Information and Computing Center" (GIOC).
"It is planned that in the process of testing, they will be replaced with compatible ones, which the carrier will purchase at its own expense. The test operation of AFCS (automated fare payment system) on route No. 444 is planned to be carried out within 3 months. The issue of joining other private carriers to the AFCS should be resolved by concluding appropriate agreements between the city and the carriers. KP HIOC, as an AFCS operator, is technically and technologically ready to ensure the connection of private carriers to the AFCS," the department added.
While travel in minibuses does not rise in price
The carrier Soyuz-Auto, which operates in AFCS in test mode, has not yet disclosed how much they will have to pay for validators.
"I can't say about the cost of validators yet. After the end of the test mode of operation and its results, there will be a planned purchase and connection of validators on all our routes. So far, all this will not affect the fare," Alexander Grossu, director of the carrier company Soyuz-Auto LLC, told us.
He adds that the issue of the cost of validators is inappropriate, because now everything is working in test mode, and the results can be summed up later.
"After that, we will be able to say something more specific. About the cost of equipment, quantity and maintenance costs," adds the carrier.
What carriers are afraid of
Other private carriers are in no hurry to install validators yet. They say that they need to spend a lot of money on their purchase, installation and maintenance, after which they will have to raise the fare.
"I believe that the issue of installing validators should be raised after the end of the war. For validators and their installation you need to pay a large amount of money. You also need to pay money for their maintenance. During the air raid alarm, authorities require the bus to stop. But, the person who paid the money for travel, how do we withdraw these funds from this account to return? Now everything is simple – we return the cash if such situations arise. In the end, validators can simply break, and the money earned will not reach us," Mykola Batsan, director of the Politekhavto-B enterprise, tells TSN.ua.
He adds that the biggest problem for carriers now is the lack of passenger traffic, at least pre-war - there are no passengers.
"Therefore, even increasing the fare will not help here – there is no one to carry. We all help the army. Our company is small, and we have already given four buses to the army. As for the introduction of validators, it will simply finish us off. They also need to be serviced, the carrier will not be able to provide installation and maintenance of validators. Yes, they were installed on Kyivpastrans buses, but they treat it as follows – people paid or not, and the state still compensates them for losses. The state will not help a private carrier, you need to have your own funds. Therefore, we ask the city authorities to introduce validators after the war ends," said Mykola Batsan.
GIOTS: carriers will buy validators at their own expense
The public utility HIOC says private carriers will have to buy validators to connect to the city's AFCS.
"We face two tasks – installation of equipment and work as an AFCS operator. The mentioned route, on which the private carrier operates, is connected to the city's AFCS system. All other issues are dealt with by the Department of Transport Infrastructure of the Kyiv City State Administration, including contractual relations. For the pilot project on route No. 444, in order to speed up the connection procedure, we met a private carrier, they temporarily and free of charge installed the equipment that we have on our balance sheet as part of the pilot project. It is the same as in Kyiv Metro and Kyivpastrans. In the process of testing, we will negotiate with carriers and they will buy the equipment themselves," Dmytro Shevchenko, director of the Main Information and Computing Center, told TSN.ua.
He adds that the funds that passengers pay non-cash arrive at their enterprise, and later go to the carrier.
"As an operator, we collect funds for travel and then transfer them to a private carrier. Everything happens according to the procedure stipulated by the normative documents of the Kyiv City Council. For this, our company receives a standard percentage, in fact, as well as from utility carriers – 4.93%. So far, the conditions with private carriers are as follows, and then it will already be the subject of negotiations," adds Dmytro Shevchenko.
Earlier, the site TSN.ua talked about the conflict between passengers and the driver of the capital's minibus because of unpaid fare - the bus driver took passengers "hostage" and demanded to pay money.
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