Riding high on the success of ‘City on Wheels’, where passengers can swipe their smart cards for paying the bus fare, the district administration will soon extend the project to all private buses in the district.
District Collector P I Sheik Pareeth said a meeting in this regard will be held with all private bus associations in the district on Monday.
“The district administration has decided to give 1,000 smart cards free of cost to the passengers. It will be given on a first-come-first-serve basis,” he said.
If all goes well, Ernakulam will be the first district, which will issue tickets in all private buses in the district by way of smart cards.
Currently, only 100 buses have been brought under the ‘City on Wheels’ project, which was launched by the Ernakulam MLA and the district collector, a few days ago.
The project was launched to help avoid any kind of hassles between the passengers and bus conductors while giving tickets. Brawl between passengers and conductors had reportedly become a recurring phenomena as the latter often showed reluctance in giving back the balance amount.
According to Nishant Ravindran, chief executive officer, Technovia Info Solutions - the company behind the project - the district collector has promised that the district administration will sponsor the first 1,000 cards. “In response to it, we have decided to give them smart cards in bulk,” Nishant said. Prior to the official launch, Technovia had carried out a trail run of the project which became an instant success. The applications for smart cards, both offline and online, spilled more than 25,000.The idea for ‘City on Wheels’ project was conceived when Technovia Info Solutions, Kochi, conducted a survey last year to find out the reason why the people are keeping away from public transport. The survey showed that the lack of awareness on bus schedules and reluctance of conductors to return the balance amount always invited public wrath.
The smart card distributed for the purpose can be recharged and the full amount can be utilised. The project has been designed in such a way that after swiping the card, the money will be automatically credited to the bank account of the bus owner. Currently, the facilities will be available in Vyttila- vyttila, Kakkanad, Aluva, Eroor, Tripunithura, Poothotta buses. Now, the project has been launched in Kottayam, which will soon be extended to Idukki.