Private bus operators in the city have temporarily put on hold the proposal to introduce smart cards.

This is because a few more modalities have to be worked out and bus owners needed to reach a consensus on the issue.

‘Multiple accounts’

“Since daily cash transactions are involved, we are in discussion with a service provider on how to go about it. Unlike KSRTC which has a single account, there are very few bus owners who own a fleet of buses. Most owners have just one bus and are dependant on the daily income for paying wages and the expenditure on fuel. Due to all these factors, the whole process may take a few more months,” said an office bearer of Ernakulam District Private Bus Operators’ Association.

Private bus owners in the city had some time ago mooted the introduction of such smart cards from which the ticket fare could be debited by swiping it in a ticketing machine.

Accountability

It could help overcome issues such as inadequate change and also ensure better accountability.

The service provider could also benefit from the proposed system by displaying advertisements on tickets for free, he said.

On why a proposal to have GPRS system in buses fell flat, he said the government had opposed sponsors’ request to display advertisements on LCD screens inside buses.

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