Thanks Tony. The best thing is that now we can carry only one card to go for BTS and MRT.
Where did you get that idea?
'Smart pass' to 'Rabbit pass'...Tas' it's not the joint BTS/MRT ticket they have been talking about integrating into one..Just a new name they decided to pull out of a hat by the looks of things..and add 10 baht on the end of!!
Remember that the Rabbit Card is actually issued by, and a part of Carrot Rewards Co., Ltd, formerly known as Bangkok SmartCard Techonology Ltd, as is, and has been, a wholly owned subsidiary of the parent BTS Group.
They discontinued the use of their first loyalty program-- Nuduan Plus- earlier this year and are transitioning to the Carrot Rewards program, which will allow members to redeem across a larger platform of participating merchants, versus the old Nuduan program which was far more limited.
... and with the move to the Rabbit card-- again remembering that Rabbit is a cross-platform program-- does allow for the **possibility** for the new fare cards to be accepted in and by other merchants aside from the cards actual issuer; in this case that being the BTS.
But that still requires other participating entities, like the MRT, to sign-on to and pay for the use, integration and ongoing royalties to the Rabbit card group.
The part about a fare hike to me is a cost issue and one that I can see merit in.. I know the base fare table has not increased since at least 2007, so that's at least five (5) years with a zero rate of fare inflation.. and in that same period inflation here has run far in excess of that.. The BOT shows core inflation for March 2012 at 2.77%...
So, on the surface of it, the BTS fare matrix has actually gone DOWN when expressed in inflationary adjusted costs..
BTS Rabbit Card:
Bank of Thailand:
Smart logic in a new card GOP'and yes in comparison to many transport models around the world to not have a fare increase for nigh on 5 years is unheard of in this day and age...While the fares did seem quite expensive a few years back.. with inflation now not so(unless you are a local that is)So this does leave the door open for a fully integrated ticket model at some stage if both parties can agree not to disagree I take it?
My suspicion is that at minimum talks are underway if not at some advanced point..
My suspicion is based on some simple and not unknown math and cost realities..
As we've seen in other industries and business models, it usually ends up being a win-win when two or more separate business can "pool" their resources to manage some aspect of their operations..
Look at AirAsia.. all the "arms" which are separate legal entities-- Malaysian, Thai and Philippine, all share and use one centralized platform for booking.. So each individual arm does not need to own, operate and maintain their own in-house system.. and in doing so, it also makes it easy for the sharing parterns to market themselves to passengers of the other carrier-- had they not used one centralized platform, that chance to spotlight themselves would be lost, or much harder and more expensive.
Thai banks.. They all operate in a "pool" format so a customer of bank X can use the ATM of bank Y for a simple withdrawal, and do so without fee (so long as its within the same BoT clearing zone).. So again, another case of pooled, shared-platform systems to allow for greater customer reach and with a lower overall cost basis.
In the case of the BTS and MRT, I think that the only real stumbling point is or will be, will be the issue of fare split..
In other words, if a passenger starts out at Prakanong on the BTS, then transfers at Asoke to the MRT and travels to Ratchadaphisek, what will be the revenue share? How will the math be done?
I think the front end costs of hardware, software and labor costs to integrate is nominal in the larger sense.. I think the issue will be what's the revenue split going to be as that's a key and central point to any shared-platform move.
I think the other issue that leads me to believe that a shared-used platform is imminent, is that idea that their current (soon-to-be-old) card system did the job..
So what would the 'upside' be for the BTS to incur the transition costs to move to a shared-use system if it were NOT for the possibility or imminent migration to an integrated system?
My gut tells me that any shared-use BTS/MRT agreement will also set the stage for, and is a part of the larger planned addition of the ARL and even a bit farther out, the incorporation of the BRT and BMA systems.
I think that for these smaller networks, like the BRT and ARL, they will simply have no other economic choice but to join the "pool" so to speak and integrate themselves. I think that only the BMA can make a case for remaining a standalone entity as their system has the least overlap in terms of network and is, for the most part, a non-electronic fare collection system. So the costs to integrate the BMA into the pool would be markedly higher.
Six years ago I spoke to the CEO of the Chao Phraya Express Boat Company, and she mentioned she would like to be part of an integrated fare system if it ever came about.
At first, many source of news in Thai said that the rabbit pass can be used in both BTS and MRT lines. However, the BTS announced later on that it's still waiting for MRT cooperation while the system in the card has already been designed for integrated transportation. Need to wait and see, for now, only BTS.
Can you please advise of the minimum cost of the rabbit card.
I will only be in BKK for 4 days.
I read in Lonely Planet that you could get a 3 day smart card, but it would appear that this is no longer the case.
Many thanksEdited: 25 April 2012, 01:36
Rabbit is an all new, more simplified program..
Under this new program there is NO MORE trip passes or day passes etc..-- like the old 15-ride cards, X-Day passes, etc.... There will be only ONE stored value card that will be issued going forward..
The get the stored value card, you pay at time of issuance- from ANY BTS station--
a) A B50 application* fee.
b) A B50 Rabbit card deposit* fee.
The application fee is WAIVED in full IF you have and surrender a current BTS smart pass, or any other BTS multi-ride pass.
The Rabbitt card deposit will be REFUNDED to you so long as you surrender the pass to a BTS office. Note, any remaining value on the pass will be forfeited and cannot be transferred to another pass.
Note that for those with a **current** (non-rabbit) BTS Stored Value Card, you paid a B30 card deposit when it was first issued to you..
When you exchange this old card for the new Rabbit card, they will automatically transfer all of your remaining value credit balance (if any) and add to that that the B30 card deposit you initially paid..
This total will all then be transferred to your new rabbit card and the new B50Rabbit card deposit deducted.
If you do not have enough remaining credit balance (effectively B20 or more) you can pay that in cash.
** For those who are locals or long-term residents:
Yyou can apply for a new Rabbit card online from the Carrot rewards site.. By doing so, your new Carrot rewards program (which replaces the old Nuduan Plus) membership ID will be recorded onto a new Rabbit Card and this new Rabbit card will be mailed to you.. Unlike in the past, it is mailed to you and you cannot pick it up in person.
You'd then take the newly issued Rabbit card to any BTS station, together with your old BTS stored value card for the value transfer to take place.
Travel Safe,Edited: 25 April 2012, 09:22