In nine months, you will be able to swipe a smart card instead of buying tickets and haggling for change with BMTC bus conductors. Further, this card can be used on Namma Metro trains and KSRTC buses and also for debit and credit transactions.
“These will be co-branded smart cards (the bank and BMTC). Over 16 applications can be uploaded to them, which means that it can be designed for multiple purposes. Money can be stored on the card for purchasing tickets. It can also be used for shopping. Co-branded smart cards that are also debit or credit cards will be available,” said a senior official from the IT Department of the BMTC.
The BMTC’s Intelligent Transport System (ITS), which is finally taking off after more than a year’s delay, will set up electronic ticketing machines (ETMs).
These machines allow the swiping of smart cards.
“We have ensured that the ETMs are capable of reading Namma Metro’s commuter cards also. The specifications of the ETMs and the smart cards were discussed with BMRCL to ensure that they are both compatible,” said Anjum Parvez, Managing Director, BMTC.
The agency has invited tenders from financial institutions for fare collection using smart cards.
The official said that the smart cards will be a ‘win-win-win’ - for all three stakeholders - the banks, the commuters and the BMTC.
“Commuters don’t have to carry multiple cards. They do not have to worry about change, conductors fleecing them and so on. The banks will see more customers opening accounts to get the debit/ credit/ mobility cards. They will also get transaction fees. The BMTC reduces the revenue lost through pilferage and also gets a percentage of the transaction charges,” he said.
The smart cards are expected to be ready by the time ITS is set up. Apart from ETMs, the ITS includes vehicle tracking systems and passenger information systems which will provide real time information to passengers with regard to the arrival of buses.
“All 6,500 buses will be fitted with GPS tracking through which we will be able to monitor any deviation in routes. Through the system, we can say more accurately when the bus will be arriving at a bus station. This will be informed to commuters waiting at bus stations through the Passenger Information systems- LED display boards that will be installed in 35 bus stations in the city,” he said.
Real time information will also be put up on the website of BMTC, which at present provides only approximate timings of buses.
Cost of ITS
The ITS project costs Rs 69 crore, which will be paid to the implementing private company in monthly installments for five years.
“This also ensures that if problems emerge in the system over this period, they are immediately tackle. Otherwise, the company will lose money,” said the BMTC official.