Friday, April 10, 2009

Pre-Paid Bus System Coming

Due to the escalation of violence and extortion in the country, mostly attacks on urban transport, the Ministry of Finance announced in the Official Gazette, Government Agreement 103-2009, which awards $35 million to the Asociación de Empresas de Autobuses Urbanos to implement a pre-paid system.

Article 3 of that agreement allows tge Ministry of Finance to disburse U.S. $35 million from the general budget of state expenses in fiscal year 2009 to urban transport on the condition that it is used correctly and specifically to implement the pre-paid system.

Gomez explained that pre-paid cards should be sold at about 800 to 1,000 locations and that means a big investment.

As part of the process, the union will issue cards free to all users of urban transport at a cost of about $4 million since each card has a cost of $1.50.

The union reported that it is working on a loan of U.S. $360 million with a Brazilian bank to upgrade the fleet of buses. "We want top quality installations not just wires to install the prepaid system," said Gomez.

Gomez noted that the implementation of the electronic card could take between six months and one year. "Many state institutions such as the city, the central government, the Directorate General for Transport, and others, must work hand in hand in this task," explained the president of the guild.

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