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Old 17th November 2016, 15:28   #1
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Default Bangalore: Cashless bus travel by Jan 2017!

BMTC which is the urban transport arm of the Karnataka government is planning to usher in cashless travel in buses by Jan 2017. According to MD of BMTC, this is in line with going with a single mobility card across all transport services.

Quoting from the source :

Quote:
With this revolution in public transport system, one can just tap the card on an electronic ticketing machine while boarding and alighting the bus and the fare between the two bus stops is deducted from the cash stored in the card. This will reduce the need for tendering change for fare for commuters and increase transparency for the bus operator-BMTC
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Old 17th November 2016, 16:24   #2
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Default re: Bangalore: Cashless bus travel by Jan 2017!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TorqueyTechie View Post
BMTC ... planning to usher in cashless travel in buses by Jan 2017.
Although I don't use the bus much, it'll save me from two problems:

1. Getting harassed by conductors for not having change. There have been instances when they've told me to get off at the next stop because I didn't have change.

2. Getting overcharged by conductors. They always charge me for a stop after
my destination.
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Old 17th November 2016, 16:51   #3
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Default re: Bangalore: Cashless bus travel by Jan 2017!

Very good move, but I have a couple of concerns.

a. How will they ensure everyone swipes their card before getting down? Assuming one needs to swipe both while getting up and down, if I don't swipe while getting down, will they charge my card automatically for the entire route (as a penalty)?

b. How do they plan on maintaining the systems and keeping them online all the time?
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Old 17th November 2016, 16:53   #4
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Default re: Bangalore: Cashless bus travel by Jan 2017!

Good move and definitely the need of the hour. Many countries have been having this system for decades but in India, it takes decades to catch up.

If implemented properly, it will resolve two things ...

1. Need for exact change
2. Need of a conductor in the bus
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Old 17th November 2016, 17:07   #5
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Default re: Bangalore: Cashless bus travel by Jan 2017!

First of all Kudos to the BMTC for thinking something along this lines. But the skeptical person in me is still not convinced because of following reasons

1. Overcrowded buses means there has to be a conductor (or two) to make sure that all the people swipe the card. Our people are not exactly known to be trustworthy, are we?
2. How would the non ticketed people be identified? And more interestingly how would the offenders be caught?
3. What would happen if the bus gets broke down and you would have to board another bus?

I think this would be implemented mostly in Volvo buses catering to probably airport, IT park destinations and such. Hope to be proven wrong and they have thought about all the things and the implementation is successful. But lets wait and watch!
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Old 17th November 2016, 17:19   #6
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Default re: Bangalore: Cashless bus travel by Jan 2017!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Divya Sharan View Post
Very good move, but I have a couple of concerns.

a. How will they ensure everyone swipes their card before getting down? Assuming one needs to swipe both while getting up and down, if I don't swipe while getting down, will they charge my card automatically for the entire route (as a penalty)?
My take - This would be introduced on specific coaches like Volvo's. Deterrents could be in the form of - single swipe (either boarding / alighting) - could mean max fare.

But can be tricky to implement
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Old 17th November 2016, 17:19   #7
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Default re: Bangalore: Cashless bus travel by Jan 2017!

Good initiative. Will this not restrict people without cards from boarding a bus?

So, if someone's car/bike breaks down somewhere and they decide to take a bus, they can't if they don't have a card.
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Old 17th November 2016, 18:11   #8
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Default re: Bangalore: Cashless bus travel by Jan 2017!

Quote:
Originally Posted by vijayvelprakash View Post
Good initiative. Will this not restrict people without cards from boarding a bus?

So, if someone's car/bike breaks down somewhere and they decide to take a bus, they can't if they don't have a card.
One solution will be to offer a provision to buy tickets via app.
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Old 17th November 2016, 18:23   #9
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Default re: Bangalore: Cashless bus travel by Jan 2017!

That's a good initiative and will contribute towards to going green (no papers wasted) + improve the efficiency. Somehow, Bangalore does all these first, atleast down south & they usually get it right too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sukhoi30 View Post
...If implemented properly, it will resolve two things ...

1. Need for exact change
2. Need of a conductor in the bus
BMTC used to run buses with just the driver & no conductor (the ones in brown color) and it works very good. There is a slight delay as the driver has to give the change too, but isn't very difficult because,

1. This is not the bus with the cheapest fare (a slightly premium offering with lesser stops), so not everyone gets in
2. It has a single door and everyone has to board through it. The tickets are given as soon as you enter, so there is no way to skip buying ticket.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vijayvelprakash View Post
...So, if someone's car/bike breaks down somewhere and they decide to take a bus, they can't if they don't have a card.
Am sure they'll have an option of pre-paid card for a day for such cases. My thoughts are, such cards could be used later too, by re-charging. Anyway, I don't see a lot of challenges in here - a good brainstorming session will give quality solutions to all the problems discussed here.

Also, re-charging a card now a days will be a kid's game with the kind of connectivity & speed on the portable devices we carry.
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Old 17th November 2016, 18:31   #10
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Default re: Bangalore: Cashless bus travel by Jan 2017!

The way it works in countries like HongKong/Singapore/TK/UK and many others is like this ...

1. Stored value cards are issued which can be topped up by the customer by various means.
2. These cards can be used for multiple purposes like on trains, buses, cinemas, stadiums etc.
3. In buses, you board from the front where there is a scanner. The scanner will deduct the maximum value at the point of boarding.
4. While alighting, another scanner will know the distance covered and re-apply the remaining amount back to the card.
5. If a person do not scan while getting down, he will risk losing maximum amount. If a person do not scan while boarding, he will again risk losing maximum amount.

It is a welcome step but if many services are integrated with one card, it will be more convenient for the general public and the usage will also increase. I think instead of introducing a new card, some form of payment mechanism using mobile phones will be a few steps ahead of rest of the world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TorqueyTechie View Post
1. Overcrowded buses means there has to be a conductor (or two) to make sure that all the people swipe the card. Our people are not exactly known to be trustworthy, are we?
Well, like everything else this will also take some time for disciplined usage. No one thought metro trains will be successful in India. You can see for yourself how people have adapted to metros.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TorqueyTechie View Post
3. What would happen if the bus gets broke down and you would have to board another bus?
Driver will have the option to reset the card values. In case of breakdown, he can refund the entire amount using the same scanner. Or in some cases, they give a discount slip for using in the next trip.
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Old 17th November 2016, 19:22   #11
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Default re: Bangalore: Cashless bus travel by Jan 2017!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TorqueyTechie View Post
1. Overcrowded buses means there has to be a conductor (or two) to make sure that all the people swipe the card. Our people are not exactly known to be trustworthy, are we?
2. How would the non ticketed people be identified? And more interestingly how would the offenders be caught?
3. What would happen if the bus gets broke down and you would have to board another bus?
1. This happens even today, no matter how many conductors are there. Its not possible to find every unticketed passenger. How to minimize this, have only one door entry like the brown BMTC buses that are there. The driver makes sure each one swipes. This is how it happens in buses where I live.

2. I've seen ticket checkers here, use a machine and my swipe card to find when and which route I last swiped. In buses here, the fares are standard by zone and they have propotional time validity. An urban zone 1 ticket is 1.20 and valid for 75 min, a suburban zone 3 ticket costs 2.20 and valid for 105 min and so on. This will also answer your 3rd question as well. As a realistic example, we have transited as much as 3 buses in the 105 min gap in few of our next major town trips. Ticket checker also takes the word of the bus driver that there were transfers from some broken down bus as well.

I remember from my stint in Bangalore, bus fares were more or less similar. Getting down next stop was 3 Rs, 2nd stop was 7 Rs and 3rd stop onwards all the way till last stop was 10 Rs.

Even if fares aren't standard. Amsterdam (though fares were standardised) had an unique swipe-in swipe-out system for its public transportation. You swipe in when you get in and swipe out when you get out.
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Old 17th November 2016, 19:49   #12
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Default re: Bangalore: Cashless bus travel by Jan 2017!

Hope they connect this system to the metro also.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Divya Sharan View Post

a. How will they ensure everyone swipes their card before getting down?
Simple: Charge maximum fare possible from the boarding point.

In Singapore MRT, you tap when you get in and out. That way, you're only changed for the distance you travel. If you forget to tap while going out, you'll be charged the maximum fare on the route.
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Old 17th November 2016, 20:04   #13
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Default re: Bangalore: Cashless bus travel by Jan 2017!

How different is it from the DMRC smart card system implemented in Delhi for DTC busses? Its a welcome move but should have been done long ago. This should have been implemented long ago.

Many conductors these days have resolved to not giving the full change back to the customer. I have had multiple instances where fare was say 23, and on paying 30, conductor just returns 6 Rs and walks on. No idea the number of customers who overpaid or forgot to take the change back during a day. And all that money goes into the conductor's pocket.
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Old 17th November 2016, 20:35   #14
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Default re: Bangalore: Cashless bus travel by Jan 2017!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Divya Sharan View Post
How do they plan on maintaining the systems and keeping them online all the time?
No maintenance, no money

Quote:
Originally Posted by autorahul View Post
Many conductors these days have resolved to not giving the full change back to the customer.
Not just these days, has been happening for a long time since my schooldays in 80s. Only the denomination have changed. Not to forget they expect exact change as well.

Problem is also on the other side too, I've seen some characters expecting change for 500 Rs in a city bus where total fare would be 20Rs or less.
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Old 17th November 2016, 21:00   #15
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Wink re: Bangalore: Cashless bus travel by Jan 2017!

Do you people know there is a cashless system for BETL? How's that working? Everyday there is a jam as the 'conductors' allow cars without the RFID tags through. Sometimes they pretend to scan receipts, sometimes they charge toll for vehicles where the driver has seemingly strayed into the RFID lane without knowing it is cashless and the 'conductors' very sportingly 'allow' them to pay and give change out of the kindness natural to such employees; and sometimes they wave their friends through, because apparently the 'system is down' or unable to scan.

Now, do you expect the BMTC employees to just as kind, or kinder to the average citizen who strays into such buses without a pass? And what about those who are completely unable to swipe their passes? I am confident that the BMTC employees will rise to the challenge and serve the people of the nation come what may - cashless or not!
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