Conductors on Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses will soon use Electronic Ticketing Machines (ETM) connected to an online server through General Packet Radio Service (GPRS).
The machines will be Radio-frequency Identification-enabled (RFID-enabled) and the corporation can issue passes compatible with RFID technology.
This will help in proper accounting of the passes issued to commuters.
The ETMs will come in handy when smart cards and a single ticketing system are introduced after the monorail and the multimodal system become functional.
The GPRS-enabled machines will be centrally connected to a server that will collect information such as number of tickets sold between bus stops, the frequency of the service, and the running time. The existing ETMs are over four-and-a-half years old and will be replaced.
The corporation has placed an order for 4,000 ETMs with a Bangalore-based firm after a transparent process involving technical and commercial bids and field tests, official sources told The Hindu.
The ETMs will cost Rs.9,500 each and the corporation will spend Rs.3.8 crore from the Plan fund.
With the introduction of the new generation ETMs, real-time data transfer will be made directly to the control room, to come up at Transport Bhavan, the KSRTC headquarters in the capital.
The authorities can keep tabs on the collection of each schedule and that of depots across the State on real time basis.
Based on the collection, the schedules can be cancelled or modified if the minimum collection of Rs.1,500 for a trip is not achieved.
Further, the bus services can be streamlined by the operations wing.
The introduction of GPRS is part of technology upgrading being worked out by the management to streamline the services of the State transport undertaking and offer better services to the commuters. The ETMs will provide a wealth of information that can help us plan schedules more effectively.
It will also enable the corporation to plug revenue loss and check fraud.
The ETMs will eliminate the possibility of sale of old tickets and reuse.
The ETMs are expected to be introduced initially in the capital by next month and later in other districts.