Though the authorities are doing everything possible to popularise ‘City on Wheels’, the passenger-friendly project wherein they can swipe their smart cards for paying the bus fare, the introduction of yet another smart card by Private Bus Operators Association (PBOA) have confused them.
According to some bus conductors, a part of the public are refusing to use smart cards as one card cannot be used in the other swiping machine.
“The situation is such that they would have to recharge the smart card for those buses which has swiping machine and pay the amount in cash in those which does not have the machine,” said a bus employee.
Nishant Ravindran, chief executive officer, Technovia Info Solutions - the company behind the project - said that though there is a slight hiccup, the smart cards are already been in operation in 200 buses. “The transaction is smooth. We got a total of 400 registrations and are trying our level best to extend the project to other parts,” he said.
Nishanth admitted that the existence of two cards are creating trouble. “The District Collector has convened a discussion in this regard. But, the PBOA chose not to participate in it. We wanted to resolve the stalemate. For that their cooperation is a must,” he said.
One of the arguments put forward by the PBOA is that both the smart cards can be used in both swiping machines.
But, when the discussions did not bear fruit, the district administration declared that the smart cards issued by Technovia Info Solutions will have the official backing. Apart from it, the district administration has issued 1,000 cards free of charge.
The project was launched to help avoid any kind of brawl between the passengers and bus conductors while giving tickets. The argument over balance amount between passengers and conductors has become a recurring phenomena as the latter often shows reluctance in giving back the balance amount. If implemented properly, it would have been of immense help to the public.
Amidst all the confusions, Nishant feel confident that they could extend it to other parts of the district also provided they get ample time. “We launched it yesterday at Perumbavur. Students demand it on a much larger scale. It is not that people are not aware of it. But, we need time to implement it,” he said.