After day and monthly passes, Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) officials are considering ‘pre-paid’ cards to overcome the problems caused by the lack of loose change. Commuters can swipe the ‘smart cards’ at the time of entering/exiting the bus to pay the fare.
Sources said that the finer details are being worked out, but they will be on the lines of mobile pre-paid cards. They expect BMTC to begin work on this proposal in about five months’ time after the completion of some ongoing projects.
BMTC managing director Anjum Parwez said, “Many commuters complain that conductors do not return change. At times, passengers forget to collect the money before disembarking. We hope to solve these problems with this smart card. It will also end our need to procure change. We will continue to issue paper tickets as not everyone will adopt these smart cards, but we hope to reduce paper tickets over time. Even day and monthly passes will be tweaked to turn them into smart cards.”
Commuters that BM spoke to were unanimous in welcoming the proposal.
Kausalya Gabriel, a fourth semester student of a city college, says, “I can already imagine the benefits as I have to catch two buses and often do not have exact change to pay the fare.”
Pallavi S, another frequent commuter, said, “A smart card would be great because I am among those who forget to take change from conductors before disembarking. Also, I can tell you that some conductors don’t issue a ticket from Visvesvaraya Museum to City Market even though they take the fare money. A smart card could put an end to such practices.”
Ankita D Bafna, a commuter, said, “I finished my second year pre-university education and am going around seeking admission in various colleges. A smart card would have made my commute easier. I would appreciate its early implementation.”