For many, QR codes have simplified and advanced many things in their everyday life such as making faster payments or simply providing a link to a digital restaurant menu without the hassle of having to type it out. That being said, PJ City Bus might be taking it a wee bit too far as the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) announced that users will have to scan a QR code twice when taking the bus starting next year.
From January 2023 onwards, commuters will have to open up an app, scan a QR code on the bus, select how many adult & children passes that they needed, and then show it to the driver before they can sit down. They will then have to use the app to scan the QR code another time before getting off.
While the concept sounds rather simple but let’s not forget that you will have to first download the CEPat app, which requires you to sign up for an account before being able to use it. Registering for the app is quite cumbersome if you’ve just found out about this requirement while getting on the bus as it requires your address and email verification before you can use its features. It’s not difficult to predict the friction this will cause as MBPJ tries to educate commuters on this new procedure.
If you remember, the Selangor state government also implemented the exact same thing for the free Smart Selangor busses last year for users between the ages of 18 and 59. Klang Municipal Council (MPK) Corporate Communications Department director Norfiza Mahfiz has defended the move by admitting that it is basically for the purpose of farming route data.
The only saving grace of this procedure is that, just like with the implementation with Smart Selangor, MBPJ has confirmed in the comments of its Facebook post that PJ City Bus won’t require QR code scanning for children and senior citizens. Aside from that, foreigners will charged 90 sen to use the busses starting from 15 January 2023.
That being said though, it seems that for non-citizens to pay for the PJ City Bus fare, they have to use CEPat’s in-app tokens that can be purchased at a minimum of RM10. It’s unclear if the service will accept other payment methods.