The Beijing Municipal Administration Traffic Card (Chinese: 北京市政交通一卡通; pinyin: Běijīng Shìzhèng jiāotōng Yīkǎtōng), more commonly known as the Yikatong (literally One-card pass), is a store-value contactless smart card used in Beijing, China, for public transportation and related uses. It is similar to Hong Kong's Octopus card, Singapore's CEPAS, or the Oyster Card used by TfL in London, United Kingdom.
Yikatong was introduced at the end of 2003 on Beijing subway Line 13 and certain bus routes after smart card pilot projects proved successful. Yikatong initially was not widely adopted by commuters due to its limited usefulness, relatively high deposit and limited availability. Beginning on May 10, 2006, Beijing's entire subway system and all Beijing buses began to accept the card, which replaced the traditional paper monthly passes. At the same time, many more commercial outlets permitted users to purchase and recharge their cards. While some commuters initially complained about long queues at bus stops, the system has now been adopted by many Beijing commuters. On May 16, 2006, 4,471,800 transactions were made using Yikatong.
The system was introduced on some taxis in 2006, and all Beijing taxis were required to accept Yikatong payment from the beginning of August 2008. The system is expected to be further expanded for payments of parking fees and expressway tolls.
The card can be bought against a deposit of CNY 20, and can be bought at most ticket counters at Beijing Subway stations and some bus stations. The cards can be refilled in units of CNY 10 at these counters, and by units of CNY 20, 50, or 100 in Beijing Subway ticket machines. The deposit is used to cover non-sufficient funds for a single trip, and can be refunded when the card is returned. After the last use of the card, it will remain its value for three years, until the month before the one travelled in.
When paying by the card, passengers sometimes get 50 or 60 percent off the normal bus fare. However, paying by Yikatong card gives no discount on subway or taxi fares. More and more, by travelling on buses, one must check in and check out, just like on the metro system (Oct. 2015).
The previous monthly passes have been canceled. Instead, 3 kinds of short-term passes were introduced on Feb 2, 2007 for tourists. They are 3-day, 7-day and 14-day passes for buses only, which cost CNY 10, CNY 20, and CNY 40 respectively, with usage limitations as 18, 42, and 90 respectively. Those cards also requires CNY 20 deposit which will be refunded. No refills available for those short term cards. No photo is required, and cards can be transferred.
The card can also be used at selected cinema, supermarkets and restaurants, such as cinemas of New Film Association, Walmart or Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises. Most of the gymnasiums accept the service as well.
Beijing's bicycle sharing system, launched in 2012, uses the card as well, although it must first be activated for the service at authorized locations.
- MTR Beijing website
- Frommer's Beijing - Page 32 Jen Lin-Liu - 2010 "Ticket booths are below ground, and a ticket costs ¥2 for a ride anywhere with unlimited transfers. The metro card, officially known as the “Municipal Administration and Communication Card” (Shizheng Jiaotong Yikatong, or Yikatong for short..."
- Frommer's Beijing Day by Day, Official U.S.O.C. Edition - Page 149 Jen Lin-Liu, Sherisse Pham - 2007 " The subway card, officially known as the Municipal Administration and Communication Card (Shizheng Jiaotong Yikatong) can be bought for a ¥40 minimum (including ¥20 for deposit)."
- Frommer's China - Page 65 Simon Foster, Candice Lee, Jen Lin-Liu - 2012 The metro card, officially known as the “Municipal Administration and Communication Card” (Shizheng Jiaotong Yikatong, or Yikatong for short) can be bought for a ¥40 minimum, including ¥20 for deposit."
- Smart Spaces and Next Generation Wired/Wireless Networking Page 167 Sergey Balandin, Yevgeni Koucheryavy, Honglin Hu - 2011 "The Oyster card in London and the Yikatong in Beijing are transportation cards based on the MIFARE technology. In Asia, the Octopus Card in Hong Kong is based on the FeliCa standard which is a contactless card ..."
- [unsubstantiated] Misty Littlewood, Mark Littlewood - Gateways to Beijing: a travel guide to Beijing Page 128 2008 YIKATONG (BEIJING SUPER-PASS) — The Yikatong Card (一卡通), also referred to as the Beijing Superpass, is an electronic payment card for use ... The Yikatong serves as a rechargeable, electronic stored value card for cashless payment."
- Chine - Page 176 Michelin / MFPM - 2010 "Bon à savoir – Des cartes de transport prépayées (shizheng jiaotong yikatong) sont en vente dans les stations de métro ..."
- Xinhua: Beijing taxi to become IC card friendly before Olympics (28th July 2008)
- (Chinese) "北京地铁能耗世界最低 公交出行比例高达42%" 2012-06-11