We love to compare our public transportation with other cities in the world. For instance, we wish that Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) promotes ease of travel like those seen in cities of London, Singapore etc. where passengers need to simply tap-and-move. Finally our BEST buses too will be fitted with card readers on which passengers simply need to tap once.
The BEST Undertaking is devising plans to install card readers inside all the buses running on ‘Ring Routes’ across Mumbai. There are close to 600 air conditioned buses – consisting of Mini and Tempo Travellers – that operate on ring routes in the island city and suburbs. These buses ply on 174-odd routes ferrying passengers from railway stations to residential areas across different locations in Mumbai.
Sources in BEST said that the whole idea is to ensure that people travelling in these ring routes need not interact or wait for conductors. These buses plying on ring routes either charge a fixed fare of Rs 6 for AC bus and Rs 5 for non-AC bus. The buses will have reader machines which can read both NCMC cards and tickets purchased on the Chalo mobile app. The passengers need to tap only once while boarding.
“All that passengers need to do is tap it on the card reader installed at the entrance of the bus next to the door. As the corridor of ring routes are fixed, we are working out on introducing this system here,” said a senior BEST official.
The BEST authorities will soon call tenders for private contractors to quote for supplying these card reader machines. Sources said that the plans are in advanced stages now and they are hoping that in the coming months they will be able to introduce it inside buses.
The Undertaking has already reinstated conductors inside buses who are now issuing tickets to passengers while the bus is on the move. For the past several months now, these conductors used to board at selected locations and from the start of journey to issue tickets, during which time the bus driver used to halt. This used to delay journey time. With the introduction of card readers, it will also promote ease of travel.