ASTANA – The number of transport card users has almost doubled since the July 21 introduction of differentiated fares and the new enter-and-exit rules for city bus passengers.
The initial 221,000 transport cardholders reached 405,000 by the end of the month. As of Aug. 7, the figure had risen to 415,000, including 61,900 passengers eligible for bus fare discounts.
The share of transport cards used to pay fares rose from 36 percent to 89 percent in July and has remained stable.
Two-thirds of cardholders obtained cards from the special terminals and 15 percent from specialised offices, according to Astana Light Rail Transport (LRT) press service data. Fourteen percent used QIWI terminals and 6 percent the kaspi.kz service.
At the same time, the number of tickets provided for cash payments decreased from 239,365 to 53,027.
Since the introduction of differentiated fares, workday passenger traffic has increased from 530,000 to 580,000 passengers a day. Approximately 418,000 people travel by bus on weekends.
Starting July 21, bus passengers have two options to pay for the ride, cash or transport card. For urban routes, the non-cash fare is 90 tenge (US$0.26), while the cash fare is 180 tenge (US$0.52). The non-cash fare for express routes is 180 tenge (US$0.52); the cash fare, 250 tenge (US$0.72). For suburban routes, the non-cash fare is 8 tenge (US$0.02) per kilometre or approximately 12 tenge (US$0.03) with cash.
Children’s fares on urban routes are 40 tenge (US$0.11) for card users and 90 tenge (US$0.26) with cash. For express routes, the fee is 90 tenge (US$0.26) by card or 125 tenge (US$0.36) with cash.
The card also allows bus passengers to switch buses once within one hour free of charge.
Cards may be purchased for 400 tenge (US$1.15) at 30 terminals throughout the city and refilled at designated offices, QIWI terminals and on the kaspi.kz website.