The monthly revenue of public transportation bus services grew by 1.4 billion MNT to reach nearly five billion MNT after cash fare collection boxes were removed, according to the Ulaanbaatar Transportation Authority.
Bus companies removed cash fare collection boxes and made pre-paid fare cards mandatory for all passengers on April 1, in an effort to improve local public transportation services. Bus companies say they are satisfied with the increased revenue and reduced fare violations.
“Payment of bus fares went completely digital on April 1. The revenue of public transportation services reached 4.9 billion MNT in April. We had earned 3.5 billion MNT in the previous month. This means that our revenue increased by 1.4 billion MNT after launching the digital payment system for a month,” said D.Otgonbaatar, the head of the Ulaanbaatar Transportation Authority. He reported that public transportation generated 3.9 billion MNT in revenue in April 2016.
Bus companies decided to remove the cash fare boxes and require passengers to pay fares using bus cards to prevent them from riding without paying full fare and to deter theft.
“Before we made bus cards mandatory, some passengers didn’t pay the full fare, or they put ripped and fake money into fare boxes. Now, our operations have become relatively smoother. Right now, more than 20 state inspectors monitor public transportation services. We will start to monitor passengers traveling with special discount cards for the elderly and people living with disabilities,” D.Otgonbaatar reported.
The Ulaanbaatar Transportation Authority says it is currently working with a research team from the Mongolian University of Science and Technology to change bus routes and improve public transportation services. The authority reports significantly improved performance after shortening 20 percent of the city’s routes in 2015 to avoid heavily congested roads near the city center. This has helped improve city traffic overall, said D.Otgonbaatar.