Features > Transportation
Asia’s Top Three Smart Public Transportation Systems: Travel Cards to Take Care of It All (1)

We know that as we speak many people are on their way somewhere via public transportation. Seoul’s public transportation system had a break through with the implementation of the T-Money card, a travel card solution from LG CNS, which was adopted throughout Korea. Other smart travel cards are also being used in different cities and countries, and I’d like to show you three different examples of where they’re big in Asia (Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan) and Seoul’s exceptional travel card system with LG CNS’s crucial role in it.

Hong Kong: Octopus Card, a Top-Notch Transportation System

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Hong Kong is not only known for its beautiful nightscape, but also for having unique types of public transportation with its trams and boats along with the usual subway trains and buses. Most buses in Hong Kong are double-deckers and are very popular with residents.

According to Arthur D. Little, an American business consulting company, Hong Kong is considered the best city out of the world’s 84 major cities in the transportation category. The Octopus Card, an e-cash system, now has 6,000 service providers on its system and 6,800 card readers throughout the city.

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Octopus Card and the card reader

The reason Hong Kong is considered to have the best transportation system even though it is one of the most crowded cities in the world is thanks to this card. 64% of Hong Kong’s entire population uses this card on public transportation, and each person owns about 3.1 smart cards.

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Octopus Cards in various forms

Octopus Cards come in various shapes and colors as well, from the basic card shape, to character cards and key chains. Octopus cards can also be connected to one’s bank account and Octopus Mobile SIM has the Octopus Card function on its USIM card.

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The biggest strength of Octopus Card, however, comes from the fact that it can replace cash at many different places including hospitals, public offices, and schools as well as buses, mini-buses, subway stations, trams, taxis and boats. Reflecting such wide usage, many subway stations, convenience stores, and other shops provide chargers so that reloading the cards can be easier.

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Octopus Card was launched from a company named Creative Start Limited (renamed to Octopus Cards Limited in 2002). This company was founded by five major public transportation companies in subways, buses, and boats in 1994 in order to develop smart card technology. The Octopus System was first introduced to Hong Kong society in 1997, and now it’s expanding its territory to places including China, the Netherlands, Dubai, and New Zealand.

I shared some information on Hong Kong’s smart travel card system today with you. In the next posting, we’ll see what other smart card systems there are in Singapore, Japan, and Korea.

Written by Suyeon Kim, University reporter for LG CNS

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