Yang Cheng Tong
|Location||Guangzhou, Guangdong, China|
|Manager||Guangzhou Yang Cheng Tong Limited|
|Auto recharge||Automatic Add Value Service|
Yang Cheng Tong, (Chinese: 羊城通; pinyin: Yáng chéng tōng; literally "Ram City Pass") is a contactless rechargeable stored value smartcard designed for paying the travel fares in the metro, buses, taxis and ferries in Guangzhou, China and surrounding cities, namely Foshan, Huadu, Zengcheng and Panyu. It was developed and managed by Guangzhou Yang Cheng Tong Limited (广州羊城通有限公司), Guangzhou Public Transport Data Control Center (tentative English translation of 廣州市公共運輸數據管理中心) and Guangzhou Metro Corporation.
The card is accepted by some 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 on 30 December 2001. According to official statistics from its operator, there are over 5 million cards in circulation and 2.2 million transactions per day.
Yang Cheng Tong literally means Ram City Pass, since the Five Rams (Chinese: 五羊; pinyin: wǔ yáng) 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 cards
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 Octopus watch.
- 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 takes 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 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.
An issue with the Guangzhou Yang Cheng Tong smart card is, however, that the system seems to be very old in terms of IT systems. It was first used in the late nineties of the twentieth century. That is why the card does not support fare integration with other modes of transport, e.g. when you do a trip with multiple interchanges between bus and metro, you will have to pay again at every transfer from one to another mode of transport.
- (Chinese) Yang Cheng Tong official website