Mumbai : The BEST undertaking will soon be putting up ‘on board validators’ taking the e-ticketing a step forward. These validators will be put as a pilot project in the AC buses which function with closed doors.
The ‘on board validators’ have been proposed in the BEST budget for 2015-16, being discussed currently and will be experimented during the year. At present, a commuter has to handover their smart cards to the conductors who have been provided with the validating machine to check the validity of the smart-card. OP Gupta, General Manager of BEST said, “Under the new road safety bill all the buses will run with closed doors like the railway which are also switching to closed door trains. This technology will be put in all the buses that will eventually run with closed doors and the commuters will be able to swipe their cards themselves.”
At present the AC buses are the only ones that function with the closed door also having lesser commuters making it possible for the conductor to keep a tab on it. The conductors will be able to guide the commuters to use these cards in AC buses as it has lesser crowd.
A senior official from BEST said, “If the technology goes well with the people, BEST can run buses without conductors. Commuters will not require a conductor in this case and can validate their cards themselves using this machine.”
The validating machine with Global Positioning System will be able to detect the fare and deduct the amount accordingly. Commuters will have to register their cards when they enter from the back door and it will locate their position. The card needs to be registered once more while getting off the bus at the destination stop will be located and the fare for the trip will be deducted accordingly.
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Best Hikes Bus Fare
The 40 lakh commuters will have to shell out a minimum of Re 1 or a maximum of Rs 2 for their ride in BEST buses from April 2015. The fare hike is being BEST has proposed the hike in its budget which is being discussed.
A committee member suggested exemption of the first two slabs from the impending BEST fare hike of Rs 1 or 2 during the first day of discussion for the budget for 2015-16 on Tuesday.
The BEST has proposed a minimum fare hike of Re 1 if the BMC agrees on granting a loan of Rs 150 crore to the undertaking or fare hike of Rs 2 would be implemented in the next six months.
During discussion on the budget, committee member Ranjan Chaudhary said, “The first two slabs should be exempted as it will make the BEST commuting more expensive than a normal share taxi or autorikshaw. The BEST may end up losing commuters.”
Ranjan explained if four people share a taxi the minimum fare of Rs 21 will be divided among them while the same four people travelling from BEST buses, even with the minimum Re 1 hike, will end up paying Rs 28 making the commute more expensive. With the fare hike of Rs 2 the fare will go up to Rs 32 for four people.