From Monday, you need not cross-check your purse for change before boarding a private city bus.
In an effort to put an end to the scarcity of coins, a prepaid smart card payment system will be introduced in 40 buses under the Private Bus Operators’ Association (PBOA) on Monday.
In the initial phase, the facility will be provided in 40 buses plying along the Ernakulam-Kakkanad stretch.
“The system has been introduced in buses conducting services to and from Kakkanad as the civil station, IT companies and many other Central Government offices are located there. The facility will be made available in 400-plus buses under the PBOA plying in the city soon,” said PBOA state president M B Sathyan.
“The prepaid smart card payment system is expected to be a great relief for bus conductors who often pick up fight with passengers for not being able to give the exact charge.
“The technology for ‘smart pay’ has been developed by Chillar Payment Solutions Private Limited. Passengers can buy the card from Chillar agents at main bus stands and bus stops and also at select shops of Airtel, the cellular service provider. The card can be recharged in various denominations varying from `20 to `1,000. A reasonable commission (80 paise for `20) will be exacted at the time of recharge. One has to keep minimum `10 balance in the card,” Chillar Payment Solutions’ executive director T M Shahas and sales and marketing head Kiran Bhasi said at a press conference.
The card can be used in any bus under the PBOA bearing the sticker: ‘Chillar cards accepted’.
“The card is available free of cost and there is no expiry date,” they said.
If the card is lost, it could be blocked and the balance transferred to a new card.