Budapest to launch digital fare collection pilot program on airport shuttle bus line

Pilot program on airport shuttle bus line
Switchio in Budapest

Budapest, 3 NOV 2022: BKK Centre for Budapest Transport is taking yet another step forward in its digital transformation. Teaming up with Mastercard, Switchio by Monet+, and K&H, the company has begun laying the groundwork for testing of an innovative contactless fare collection solution that has already brought numerous advantages to public transport systems throughout the world, including financial savings, greater efficiency, and an enhanced passenger experience. 

During the trial phase, passengers in Budapest travelling on the 100E airport shuttle bus will be able to pay for their fare using their bankcard or smart device. The project marks the first time a digital payment solution will be implemented in the Hungarian capital’s public transport system.

Paperless is the only way to go

Passengers will pay by tapping their bankcard or payment-enabled smart device on a digital validator as they board the bus. Unlike contactless transactions in a standard retail setting, here the transaction also serves as the passenger’s digital ticket, with the rider’s bankcard serving to verify payment of the fare in the event of an inspection. 

Thus, passengers will no longer need to purchase a paper ticket ahead of time, which in many instances can mean a considerable savings of time. It also speeds up boarding, which is especially important in busy locations such as airports. The new payment system will also not pose any obstacle to passengers who are not users of BudapestGO, the city’s popular app for ticket and pass purchases, travel planning, and the latest traffic updates. The open-loop solution means all they have to do is take out their bankcard or smart device and tap it on the digital validator on the bus. 

The system also greatly accelerates the fare payment process by automatically charging the correct fare for the direct airport-city route to the bankcard. 

Testing slated to begin at the start of 2023

BKK Centre for Budapest Transport conducted a public tender to select partners for the pilot program. On 27 OCT 2022, an agreement was signed by Mastercard and Monet+ (developer of the Switchio digital payment platform) for implementation and operation, with K&H providing card acceptance services and Mikroelektronika supplying the in-vehicle validating devices.
Testing is slated to begin on the 100E airport shuttle bus in early 2023. 

In addition to the key objective of providing passengers with an improved fare payment experience, BKK Centre for Budapest Transport also sees significant advantages in pursuing its sustainability goals, namely in the reduction or even elimination of conventional paper tickets.

  • BKK Centre for Budapest Transport
  • K&H
  • Switchio by Monet+
  • MasterCard
  • Mikroelektronika
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