BANGKOK — Although they’ve yet to materialize as promised, Mangmoom cards will definitely work on buses after yet another delay of five months, a Bangkok transport official said Friday.
The wait for what’s hoped to be a universal public transport card is dragging on once again due to compatibility issues that Prayoon Choygeo of the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority said could be solved by March. The cards were first announced eight years ago.
He said software for E-ticket machines, now installed on 800 buses, must be upgraded to support the card, the specifications of which the department has requested from the Mass Rapid Transit Authority for testing.
Mangmoom cards were launched on the MRT Blue and Purple lines in June, with promises they would also work on Airport Rail Link and buses by October, according to Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith. It has since been continually postponed.
Two weeks ago, the airport train’s chief Suthep Panpeng said its card readers’ software also needs an upgrade. He expects Mangmoom to work on the Airport Rail Link by the end of this year.
The BTS in August teased the possibility of accepting the cards but said negotiations would take time.
Getting all the new machines to be compatible with both Mangmoom and government-issued welfare cards has been problematic.
According to Prayoon, 300 buses with the E-tickets machines now support the welfare cards while the other 500 will be ready by Oct. 15. He added that 1,800 more buses will be equipped with the machines and ready to go by November.