Mar-2020 - Jan-2024
Project for establishment of Clearing House for integrating transport ticketing system in Dhaka city area (Phase Ⅱ)
- Clearing House
This project aims to support the Bangladesh government in introducing a transportation IC card system similar to Suica and PASMO in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, and its surrounding areas. Dhaka is one of the most congested areas in the world, and suffering from severe air pollution. To alleviate the situation, the Bangladesh government is developing mass transportation infrastructure such as BRT and MRT, and Japanese ODA loans are being used to expand its transportation system. In December 2022, Bangladesh’s first urban railway, MRT Line 6, partially commenced operations.
Introducing a transportation IC card system that allows users to ride on these transportation systems without the need to handle cash such as old and deteriorated banknotes. This cashless system offers user discounts for small amounts which were difficult to manage with cash transactions, while eliminating the need to handle change. This digital transformation (DX) also provides benefits to transport operators. It also offers benefits to Muslim women, who are forbidden to touch other men, by eliminating the need to touch the conductors’ hands when paying.
IC Cards are convenient, but to implement a unified system that can be used across multiple transportation operators, there is a need for centralized management of specifications and data, as well as appropriate distribution of user funds to transportation operators according to usage. A system and an organization are required to achieve this, and the Clearing House (CH) is responsible for fulfilling this role.
The trial introduction of transportation IC cards dates back to the first phase of the project in 2014 when the mass transit systems were still in the planning stage. KEI, together with NEC, designed specifications for IC cards, conducted trial operations for buses, and proposed an ideal CH organizational structure. The introduced IC card was named Rapid Pass by Prime Minister Hasina.
It was introduced as common IC card which can be used across multiple modes of transportation such as bus and MRT.
It is adopted contactless IC card technology (FeliCa) developed by SONY as well as Suica.
This Phase II project is a continuation of the Phase I project. It has improved the specifications of the CH system to enable the introduction of IC cards for the MRT, and also supported the establishment of a new CH management organization. This time, KEI is working with the Japan Development Institute (JDI), which has experience in industrial park development in Bangladesh.
The counterpart is the Dhaka Transportation Coordination Authority (DTCA) for both projects.
Rapid Pass is scheduled to be widely introduced in the BRT under construction as well as city buses used by many citizens. Furthermore, it is expected that the use of Rapid Pass will be expanded to retail stores, etc. through a newly established organization.
Training for Actual System Operations
Training sessions were held for DTCA and subcontractor staff on how to manage and operate CHS.