Moving forward with its Chalo bus cards for cashless travel on city buses, the Dakshina Kannada Bus Operators Association has decided to offer the facility at 60% concession in fares to students instead of issuing them regular bus passes.
“Henceforth, we will not issue regular students concession passes. Instead, Chalo bus cards will be issued while students will continue to get 60% concession in fares,” association president Jayasheela Adyantaya told reporters here on Tuesday.
The cards with validity for 20 days, one month and two months duration will be issued through educational institutions, he added.
Mr. Adyantaya said that about 20,000 students apply for concession bus passes every year and operators bear about ₹12 lakh a year towards fare concession. Operators have given concession worth ₹14.74 crore to students in the last 41 years with no reimbursement from the government, he added.
Taking a step towards cashless transactions, the association worked with Chalo Mobility Private Limited to launch Chalo bus cards two years ago.
The holder of Chalo cards will get 10% concession on fares per trip.
Chalo’s Operational Manager Amrut Mayya said that about 4,000 Chalo cards were issued in the city with about ₹30 lakh collection a month from recharges made by commuters.
He said that conductors of buses on Route No 27 [Mangaladevi-State Bank] carry electronic ticketing machines (ETMs) through which commuters can buy tickets by tapping Chalo cards on the machine.
Such ETMs will be extended to other city buses soon, he said and added that the movement of about 200 buses is being tracked on real-time basis through GPS, he said.
Asked about conductors on some routes not issuing tickets to commuters, Mr. Adyantaya said that frequent orientation programmes are being conducted for conductors.
“We are trying to rectify the issue,” he said and added that most of the bus conductors are issuing tickets.
When asked about non-operation of city buses on some routes, Mr. Adyantaya said that COVID-19 has affected many city bus operators. They are forced to cut down some of the routes in view of the reduced patronage.