Sri Lanka Transit Card launched | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka Transit Card launched

2 May, 2021
Transport Minister Gamini Lokuge at the launch of the Transit Card.
Transport Minister Gamini Lokuge at the launch of the Transit Card.

In a move to revolutionise the transport sector, the Ministry of Transport and the Central Bank played lead roles to get the key stakeholders to sign a four-party agreement to introduce the Sri Lanka Transit Card (SLTC) recently.

The SLTC initiative, which had been in the drawing board for many years will finally come to light in line with manifesto of the President, Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour, which proposed a single transport e-ticket system.

The four-party agreement for the implementation of SLTC was signed among Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB), National Transport Commission (NTC), People’s Bank and LankaClear (Pvt) Ltd. at the Ministry of Transport.

Minister of Transport Gamini Lokuge,  State Minister for Vehicle Regulation, Bus Transport Services and Train Compartments and Motor Car Industry, Dilum Amunugama, Secretaries and officials of both ministries were present.

Chairman SLTB, Kingsly Ranawaka, Chairman NTC, Sashi Welgama, GM and CEO LankaClear,  Channa de Silva and Senior DGM, People’s Bank,  K. B. Rajapakse signed the agreement.

The proposal to implement the SLTC submitted by LankaClear, with approval from the Central Bank and support from the Ministry of Transport, received Cabinet approval in February 2021. The card will be issued by all authorised financial institutions under the National Card Scheme (NCS) facilitated by LankaClear.

It will be the first-ever 2-in-1card to be introduced in Sri Lanka that comes with a stored-value component, in addition to debit and credit features, built into a single chip card. It will save the government a colossal amount of money in terms of printing and distributing cards if it was implemented as a standalone transport card.

At the pilot phase, SLTC will be accepted in SLTB and private buses in selected routes identified by the Ministry of Transport and will be gradually extended to other routes and to the Sri Lanka Railway.

This national initiative was backed by the Ministry of Transport and the Central Bank while People’s Bank will be the first bank to issue the card, which is set to be rolled out in a couple of months.

The Bank of Ceylon and other State banks will join the national initiative by issuing the card within a few months.

The SLTB and NTC are implementing the backend technology to facilitate this card in public and private buses. LankaClear will operate the network to facilitate the transactions that are carried out in public transport under the guidance of the Central Bank, free considering the importance of this national initiative.