Atac, on buses and trams you will pay the ticket by credit card

Atac, on buses and trams you will pay the ticket by credit card
Atac, on buses and trams you will pay the ticket by credit card

On buses it will be stamped with an ATM. It is the latest move by Atac to try to stem the ticket cunning. An endemic evil for the capital’s public transport. Suffice it to say that according to some estimates of the municipal company, 60% of users now travel for free on buses and trams. Unlike what happens on the metro, where you have to stamp the ticket otherwise the entrance turnstile does not unlock, on surface vehicles the only reason to approach the validator is civic sense. And not everyone has them. The return at the beginning of May of the controllers – about seventy at the moment but will soon return to full capacity (250) – has served to contain the phenomenon but it is not enough. The numbers of the deep red are noted in a report requested by the sole administrator of the subsidiary, Giovanni Mottura: Atac risks losing 30 million euros in 2021, only under the item “missing ticket receipts”. A blow from kappa for a company already struggling with a monstrous debt of 1.4 billion euros, to be repaid with a bankruptcy agreement drawn up before the pandemic and which naturally did not take into account the effects of the Covid restrictions.

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Here are the counter-moves, then. By the end of the year – at the latest “in January 2022”, reads the internal cards – a POS enabled for contactless payment will be installed on all buses and trams in the city (around 2,500 vehicles). Just put your card on the devices to travel in compliance with the rules, without the need to obtain a ticket in advance. Furthermore, it will be possible to continue the journey on the underground and on the railway lines, with the same card, at no additional cost: the card will be recognized by intelligent sensors. Since 2019, the ATM ticket service has been active on all metro stations A, B and C and on the Rome-Lido and Rome-Viterbo railway lines. In fact, today it is possible to pay directly at the entrance turnstiles by credit card. It is also possible to purchase the Metrebus monthly pass online and then use the same card to pass through the entry gates (this is the so-called “white list” system).

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Now the mechanism will be extended to buses and trams. And the plan will make it easier for foreign tourists to use the vehicles as well. The operation was authorized with a provision by the general manager of Atac, Franco Giampaoletti, on 26 March and the expression of interest to identify a technical partner who will have to contribute to covering costs has already been published. The estimate is approximately € 4 million payable in four annual installments. Particular attention has been paid to the issue of security: credit card data are used in encrypted form and data relating to bank cards used on board are not stored. Atac will allow access to the public transport network with any contactless payment card of the enabled circuits.

Contacted, the sole director of Atac, Mottura, confirmed that the project is at a very advanced stage. «It will be a revolution in the way of paying for tickets and also for the use of public transport in the city. Rome is the first in Italy to equip itself with this tool, already active on London buses, but not in other metropolises such as Paris for example ».



Atac buses trams pay ticket credit card

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