Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) bus commuters will be able to book regular tickets, daily passes, pass renewal and happy hour tickets through their smart phones by the end of November.
This will boost public transport as BEST is the second largest mass transporter in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and caters to more than 32 lakh suburban commuters. Using the mobile ticketing system will enable commuters to purchase tickets or renew passes from the BEST website or mobile app.
The system is likely to be similar to the system of mobile ticketing started by the Central and Western Railway, in which commuters are sent a Quick Response (QR) code after booking their ticket.
The passenger will have to show this QR code to the conductor after boarding the bus. “We are still working on small technical glitches in the system. Once this is resolved, it will be demonstrated to the BEST committee members and after their approval, it will be introduced to the public,” said Jagdish Patil, general manager BEST.
BEST is also planning a program that involves Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), also known as smart card usage by making their entire ticketing system an online process. Shopkeepers will be able to renew smart cards for commuters using this system.
This is similar to the Jan Sadharan Ticket Booking Seva (JTBS) system commissioned by the railways, in which suburban commuters are able to purchase tickets outside the railway station.
The undertaking will also allow corporates to give their employees a BEST bus pass, just as they are given a railway pass allowance.
“Currently, the purchase and renewal of smart cards can be done only at 64 point of sale centres, which are mainly at bus stations or depots. We are working on a system that will link the entire ticketing system online. Commuters will be able to renew their passes at our franchises,” added Patil.