‘Giving paper tickets is a stressful task’
BMTC conductors want electronic ticketing machine (ETM) tickets back, saying these will make their work easier.
BMTC replaced ETM tickets with paper tickets in 2019 when many ETM machines printed blank tickets.
Krishnamurthy, a conductor, informed The Observer: “ETM tickets are both conductor- and citizen-friendly. ETMs will help us a lot while issuing tickets, mainly when the bus is crowded. We got habituated to ETMs. Now issuing tickets manually is really tough. We want ETM tickets back.”
The BMTC introduced ETM tickets in 2016. In June 2021, the corporation ended its tender with Trimax IT after most machines went dysfunctional in 2019.
A Hindu report dated February 15, 2022, said: “The selected firm will provide 12,000 Android-based electronic ticketing machines that can accept UPI QR code, NCMC (National Common Mobility Card) and closed-loop cards.” A senior BMTC official informed the paper that a tender had been floated to implement the automatic fare collection system in all buses at an estimated cost of Rs 45 crore.
A group of conductors at the Yeshwantpur depot shared: “ETMs are the best way to issue tickets. They are conductor-friendly. We can issue tickets to a group of people at a time which is not possible with paper tickets. Entering stage is the simplest job with ETMs but the toughest while entering manually. There are high chances of committing errors for which we are fined. We are waiting for ETMs to come back.”
A conductor, Shilpa, said she finds issuing paper tickets stressful.
“We have to simultaneously issue tickets, enter stage and also ensure that nobody is missed out. ETMs are easy to handle. The ticket gives clear information about from where to where, the fare and issue timing. We are waiting for ETMs to come back as they are more convenient and citizen-friendly.”
An official working at the BMTC systems department confirmed they have issued a tender and ETM trails are already happening at some depots.
“Owing to the pandemic, tendering and processing for the same got delayed. We are working on the same, but can’t say how many days it will take…. ETMs are helpful for the corporation as a whole. We will bring them back… at the earliest.”
Recently, the BMTC introduced a new method of issuing bus passes. Under it, a passenger can scan a QR code and buy a bus pass via an online transaction.