How about earning credit points for using public transport that besides promoting green initiatives makes one’s travel and shopping cheaper!

If everything falls in place, this will be a reality from January for lakhs of commuters using public transport daily.

“CityonWheelz,” a concept developed by a Kakkanad-based start-up information technology firm, has found support from all quarters. The concept has a larger goal of addressing issues like energy conservation, waste management and much more through the introduction of a smart card to which points will get credited for every green initiative promoted by the user. The user can redeem the points during shopping and travelling.

Hibi Eden, MLA, said while the project was laudable in theory, its success depends on the cooperation from the district administration, corporation and the passengers at the implementation stage. “The youngsters should be appreciated for the thought process itself. I have pledged all support to the project and has promised to be present at its launch next month,” he said.

The pilot project promoting public transport system to reduce traffic congestion and carbon footprint and to save fuel marks the first phase of the project. The introduction of the pilot project in the city entails three systems named WheelzPass, mWheelz and WheelzPool.

Under the WheelzPass, travel passes will be issued to commuters who can use it instead of money for using public transport. Passes will be issued at discounted rates — higher the denomination, higher the discount. Based on the usage of public transport, points will get credited to their WheelzGreen card.

Plans are also afoot to facilitate recharging of the card by setting up outlets in working class-centric points like near the civil station and the high court.

Initially, paper passes will be issued. “We plan to introduce a swiping technology shortly for which an additional module will be added to the existing ticket vending machines used in private buses. Once this is done, the conductor just needs to swipe the card in the machine and the ticket fare will be automatically debited from the account,” said Nithin P.R, founder CEO of Technovia Info Solutions Private Limited, which has introduced the concept.

The introduction of mWheelz, a mobile or web-based application, means that passengers can search buses operating in and around the city thus enabling them to time their travel accordingly.

Mayor Tony Chammany said while the corporation was positive about the project, he was yet to study the nitty-gritty of the project.

M.B. Satyan, district secretary of the Private Bus Operators’ Association, welcomed the project. “It will put an end to constant arguments between passengers and bus employees over ‘change.’ The passengers will be benefitted as they can also know the timing of bus services through their mobiles,” he said.

WheelzPool will be a mobile or web-based application facilitating pooling of vehicles among those belonging to the same residential area, company, or have similar office hours at least once or twice in a week. People can also use it for organising joint pleasure trips as well. Again, participants will get points credited to their WheelzGreen card.

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