Private buses go hi-tech, to use electronic ticketing system

The days of paying coins or cash for a ticket on your local private bus will soon be over.

Published: 07th August 2021 06:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th August 2021 06:50 AM   |  A+A-

Mathews Cherian’s bus installed with the new ticketing system

Express News Service

KOCHI: The days of paying coins or cash for a ticket on your local private bus will soon be over. Now, a majority of the bus owners have decided to implement electronic ticketing machines in their vehicles. 
Once the machines are in place, the passengers have to just swipe their debit, credit or any other types of cards to pay the fare. The first buses with the system will begin service from September 1. Around 12,500 buses will be installed with the system. 

According to Mathews Cherian, state general secretary, Public Bus Operator’s Unity, the technology and the machines are being provided by a startup called Xkern based at Kazhakoottam in Thiruvananthapuram. 

“I have 15 buses that conduct services. Once this new technology gets in place, the entire ticketing system will get revolutionised. It is a very passenger-friendly tech,” said Mathews who has signed an agreement with the startup.  Unlike the systems that accept only one type of card, the ones developed by the startup accepts all cards. “Hence, the passengers won’t be burdened with the task of getting the cards recharged,” said Praveen E, chief business officer, xKern.

 He said, the owners also will be reaping a lot of benefits from the system. “They will be able to earn additional revenue. It will be Rs 3,000 initially. However, after every three-month cycle of billing, they will get Rs 500 on the revenue up to 10,000 after the test period of one month,” said Praveen.
According to him, the company will be fitting the machines and also the android display for free. 
“The company will be getting revenue from the ads that will be displayed inside the buses. We have already signed up 47 leading brands. This part of the business is being handled by our marketing department,” said Praveen.

According to Mathews, the ticketing machines will also display the total number of people that took the ticket for the approaching stop. “Details of the booked tickets will be updated on the ETM for the conductor. Also, tickets purchased outside the bus can be verified with the machine. Updates on ticketing and location will take place in real-time and will be available to the owner,” he added.
Praveen said, three ticket rolls per day will be provided free of cost while additional ones will cost as low as Rs 5 + GST. 

“The passengers too will be benefitted. They will get ETA predictions on bus stations, traffic conditions on the route. The reduced amount of user interaction required for ticketing with intelligent place suggestions for source and destinations makes it a very useful system,” he said adding already agreements have been signed to install the machines in around 6,000 buses in the state. 

Benefits for owners
Software to access data on buses, employees and sales
Access trip history and collection reports for up to any date
Track employee attendance 
Access location history of vehicles with date and time on a map
Benefits for passengers
More sops for passengers
An Android infotainment system that will display
Up to date news on display
Route map and upcoming bus stop on-screen
 Movie trailers and entertainment content inside the bus


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