Commuters wait in queue at a bus station in Sharjah. Image Credit: Atiq-Ur-Rehman/Gulf News

Sharjah:  The fare for public buses has been increased from Dh4 to Dh5, yet commuters are eligible for a 10 per cent discount per trip through purchasing the e-payment smart cards, Sayer which was launched today.

Sharjah Public Transport Corporation announced a unified price of Dh5 for all routes in the emirate in order to cope with the rising prices of diesel.

"The new system is aimed at making bus fare payment convenient to passengers. The convenient method of e-payment will save users' time, instead of paying for a ticket for every bus trip," said Abdullah Mohammad Al Zari, Director General of Sharjah Transport.

"Passengers have to only insert their smart cards into a card reader machine in the bus which will automatically deduct the due fare."

The Sayer cards, which are available at Al Jubail Station and Al Ittihad Station, are offered in denominations of Dh45, Dh90 and Dh180. Passengers can buy the e-payment cards at the vending machines in both the stations, but will have to recharge them at designated counters since the machines are currently not equipped to do so.

"By using the e-card, customers will then be offered a discount and will only have to pay Dh4.50 for each trip," said Fahd Al Awadi, General Manager of the Kuwait-based KGL Company, which is franchised to run public buses in the emirate.

He pointed out that customers will initially have to pay an additional Dh5 when they purchase the e-cards for the first time. "The cards were designed to last for up to five years, so customers will only have to pay the extra Dh5 when they buy the card for the first time."

Al Awadi explained that Sharjah Transport will introduce a further expansion plan on the project, which includes launching a dedicated e-payment card for people with special needs, as well as for children.

Do you use Sharjah's public transportation? How will this help you financially? Will this encourage more people to use public transportation?