Image credits: Metro CDMX
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News Article

Mexico City’s Public Transport Card to Be Smartphone-Rechargeable

By Antonio Gozain | Wed, 02/02/2022 - 17:55

The Integrated Mobility Card (MI), used for contactless payment in Mexico City’s public transportation, will be rechargeable through Mercado Pago’s mobile app starting on March 2, 2022, saving time for millions of users, announced the Mexico City Ministry of Mobility (SEMOVI).

Users will be able to recharge MI cards through their smartphones 24 hours a day thanks to NFC technology, said Andrés Lajous Loaeza, Head, SEMOVI. He highlighted the importance of giving users numerous options to recharge their MI cards to integrate Mexico City’s public transportation into the same network.

SEMOVI and the Transport Regulatory Body (ORT) partnered with Mercado Pago to enable smartphone recharges through the latter’s platform. In addition, users will also be able to recharge their MI cards in cash using Mercado Pago’s retailer network. To recharge their card, users will have to scan the MI cards with their phones using the Mercado Pago app, select the amount to recharge and pay with a debit card, credit card or electronic wallet.

In 2021, ORT carried out a public bid to expand the recharging network for MI cards, which Mercado Pago won because it complied with technical and administrative requisites and “offered the best economic offer for the city,” said SEMOVI in a public statement. Mexico City did not allocate resources for the development of the platform and the tool will be gradually integrated into the CDMX App, said Natalia Rivera Hoyos, Director General, ORT.

In addition to 24-hour, mobile recharges, the partnership signed until Dec. 2024 with Mercado Pago will grow the physical points of MI cards recharging from 437 to 1,153, strengthening the network and offering more alternatives for users.

MI cards are currently operating within Mexico City’s subway, Metrobús, Tren Ligero, Ecobici and Cablebús. Recently, 65 buses started accepting them as a form of payment, providing drivers with a first-time fixed salary and users with more transport options with contactless paying, reported MBN. This decision grants more articulation between the diverse transportation options in Mexico City, said Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum. “From departure to destination, users will have a more integrated and safer mobility service whether it is on a bus, Metrobus or Metro through a card-contained payment scheme."

MI cards popularity has grown in the last years. For instance, 70 percent of subway users prefer this payment method, said Guillermo Calderón Aguilera, Director General, Metro CDMX.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
MBN, SEMOVI
Photo by:   Metro CDMX
Antonio Gozain Antonio Gozain Journalist and Industry Analyst