Committee formed to plan system of electronic bus fares

Three government agencies have agreed to create a system of electronic payment for bus passengers. The system is supposed to be in place when bus companies begin to renew their concessions.

The agencies are the Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos, Banco Central de Costa Rica and the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes. The agencies agreed Thursday to set up a committee to design and put into service such a system.

The system would cover all the nation’s buses and later the train service, said a summary of the meeting.

The system also would reduce the targeting of buses by robbers because there would be much less cash aboard.

Although a system has not been selected, it most likely will be some type of card swipe that will register the passenger’s presence and make a deduction from an established bank account. The coordinating committee members also suggested that the electronic system would provide much more information including the accurate totals of individuals using certain routes.

There also is the possibility that the system could be used to track individuals.

The Banco Central favors the idea in part because it would reduce the use of cash, which is something that the bank is obligated to provide to the banking system.

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