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Tartu bus service upgrade will include option to swipe bank card directly

A bus in service in Tartu.
A bus in service in Tartu. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Changes to Tartu's bus ticketing system will include an option for passengers to swipe their bank card directly, thus using it as a bus card in effect.

AS Ridango won the City of Tartu tender, with its offer of €27,000 per month, with the cost to include the implementation of the changes.

Deputy Mayor of Tartu Raimond Tamm (Reform) told ERR that the new systems are comparatively complex, meaning an experienced partner was needed, one who had previously provided similar service at a high level, meaning Ridango was the obvious choice.

Tamm said: "Nowadays, for example, all the devices on buses that connect to the ticket system are Ridango devices in any case, hence it not really being viable for anyone else to offer the [new] information system service."

Ridango is a long-term contractual partner to the City of Tartu. Its new contract period starts on the first of July this year and is for a five-year term, to manage ticket sales and information systems of Tartu's public transport network.

In addition to linking bank cards to the system, making them a "personalized" travel card, the changes will include those to digital information boards at bus stops, which will display the progress of buses in real time.

Ridango's sales manager Argo Verk said the company will replace all the older info boards during the summer months, replacing them with more reliable variants with clearer all-weather visibility.

As for the bank card development, Verk said there will be "a secure environment where passengers can enter their bank card number. After that, when swiping the reader inside the bus, the system automatically recognizes the card and its linked account holder, and either processes the ticket sale or, if there is any kind of season ticket linked to it, the right to travel is simply validated."

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Editor: Jane Saluorg, Andrew Whyte

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