Sunday, October 12, 2008

Yang Cheng Tong

Yang Cheng Tong, 羊城通 is a rechargeable stored value smartcard designed for paying the travel fares in the , buses, s and in Guangzhou, China and surrounding cities, namely Foshan, Huadu, Zengcheng and Panyu.
It is built and managed by Guangzhou Yang Cheng Tong Limited , Guangzhou Public Transport Data Control Center and .

The card is also sometimes accepted by city merchants, zoos, restaurants, parking meters, and in other establishments as payment.
With the card holder's personal information stored in the Yang Cheng Tong, further functions can be applied, such as access control of buildings and roll call in school.
The system was successfully launched in 30th December, 2001.
According to the official statistics announced by its operator,
the circulation of Yang Cheng Tong is over 5 million cards and 2.2 million transactions per day.

The card does not accept anonymous purchase and a bank card is required for the application.

Yang Cheng Tong literally means ''Ram City Pass'', since the ''Five Rams'', 五羊 statue is one of the important landmarks in Guangzhou.
''Wu Yang Cheng'' or ''Yang Cheng'' are both well-known nicknames of Guangzhou among Chinese people.

Type of card

There are different types of the Yang Cheng Tong card, but their functions are basically the same.

*Standard card, sold for 80RMB and containing deposit value of 30RMB. Deposit will be refunded when the card is returned.
*Memorial card, deposit not included and refund of this type is prohibited. For example, the designs of these cards in 2006 are travel spots-themed, sold for 20RMB each card. When showing this card to relative spot box office, 10% discount would be offered for admission.
*Xeno-card is a wrist watch, key chain or cell phone lanyard which is implanted with the chip used in Yang Cheng Tong cards. These products may derive from the idea of .
*Enterprise card.
*Joint card.


Compared to other contactless smartcards in use,
the data transmission of Yang Cheng Tong is criticized by commuters that it takes 1~2 seconds between the card and reader to complete the transaction,
though the operator claims that the data communication only costs 0.5 seconds in its official site.

Moreover, there are insufficient facilities to refill the card value with cash.
Currently there are only two Yang Cheng Tong customer service centers,
a few 7-Eleven stores and a small number of Guangzhou Metro stations accepting the cash for recharging value to Yang Cheng Tong card.
Otherwise, a bank card is required for using automatic self-service add-value terminals located at each Guangzhou Metro station and in joint banks, McDonald's restaurants, car parks, etc.

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