Passengers have since Monday been able to choose personalized IC ticket cards to use on buses in scenic Hangzhou city, in east China's Zhejiang province.
In the first batch of personalized IC (interchange) cards, the Hangzhou public transport system is offering watches and key rings cards in different styles for passengers to choose from.
The new IC cards, jointly designed by a Shenzhen firm and the Hangzhou public transport company, combine the technology of an intelligent CMOS chip and design flair.
The cards cost a little more than the ordinary price of 10 Remenbi (RMB) yuan (1.2 US dollars): 68 RMB yuan (8.2 US dollars) per watch card and 38 RMB yuan (4.6 US dollars) per key ring card.
The cost of bus travel via the new style cards is, however, thesame as with other cards.
More than 600,000 IC bus cards are already in circulation in this reputed east China city. Nevertheless, they are all the same shape and size as credit cards, and look dull.
In 2003, the Hangzhou city public transport company is expected to cooperate with relevant departments and technology companies todevelop personalized IC cards with diversified styles and more functions to cope with the market demand.
(Xinhua News Agency January 8, 2003)