Bengaluru: The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation is looking for the best technology to introduce smart cards for students and others travelling free of charge or on concession.
The state transport corporations provide concession passes to around 5.6 lakh students, besides 10,000 passes to visually challenged and others. The government has announced in the budget that the beneficiaries of free and concessional passes will be issued smart cards.
KSRTC officials will now select the best technology after seeing the demonstrations by various agencies following which tenders will be invited.
Explaining the reason behind replacing the bus passes with smart cards, a senior official in the KSRTC's operation department said the project will help the ground force understand the technology.
Asked about any leakage due to forgery of free or concessional bus passes, the official said such cases are very rare. “This is more of a pilot project. The experience and the data collected from this will be used to make all ticket transactions digital in the coming years,” he said.
The major challenge for the KSRTC’s digitisation drive, the official said, is the unavailability of internet network in rural areas and unreliable network in suburban areas.
“Apart from network, there are other things like upgrading about 12,000 electronic ticketing machines (ETMs) before we can replace monthly bus passes with smart cards. We hope that things will improve in the coming days so that we can think of digitising the entire cash transaction operations,” he said.
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