Sajha Yatayat has announced soft launch of Smart Travel Card (STC). The digital payment system has been launched in association with Nepal Bank Limited.
Mahendra Raj Pandey, acting CEO of Sajha Bus, said they have started trial of the travel card in a bus with registration Ba 1 Kha 2217 which plies Lagankhel-Narayan Gopal Chowk-New Bus Park route. “We have installed card swiping devices in both front and rear doors,” Pandey said. “We will test the system for a month. If everything goes fine, we will install the system in all our buses.”
For now, Sajha has introduced STC costing Rs 200 each. “But the card will be issued to public after the trial period is over,” Pandey said.
The card will have initial balance of Rs 50. Passengers can top-up credit once the balance is consumed.
Once passengers swipe their cards, the system will automatically deduct the fare from the card after calculating the distance traveled. The amount thus deducted is collected in Sajha’s bank account maintained at Nepal Bank Limited.
In case passengers lose their card, they have to pay Rs 200 to get a new card, according to Pandey.
This is the first time that digital payment system has been introduced in transportation sector.
“Once the new system comes into implementation, passengers traveling in Sajha buses needn’t carry money. They just need to swipe their cards,” said Pandey.
Kanakmani Dixit, chairman of Sajha Yatayat, Suman Lal Pradhan of Nepal Bank Limited, and Harmeet Singh Sethi, CEO of Nuspay India, jointly announced soft launch of the smart traveler card at a function organized on Monday.
The software and the entire system have been developed by Nuspay India. If the device is installed in other places like groceries and other services, the card can be used for shopping as well.
Meanwhile, Sajha has started operating buses on two new routes — Budhanilkantha-Maharajgung and Thankot-Kalanki.