Standing in serpentine queues at bus depots only to renew your bus pass would become passé from June. The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) administration proposes to start online renewal of bus passes from June onwards.
The undertaking is hopeful that this system will make the process of renewing passes simpler and convenient. A smart card pass holder would only need to log on to the BEST’s website and enter pass number, make payment using a debit or credit card and his pass would be renewed.
“This online system of pass renewal is being tried as an experiment now. This trial would be complete by May-end,” OP Gupta, general manager, BEST.
However, the pass holder will have to pay a surcharge for renewing it through a credit or a debit card.
However, commuters would not be able to buy new passes using this system. “The number of those renewing their passes would be more than those seeking new passes. We will make necessary changes to accommodate those who would like to buy new passes online,” said a BEST official.
This would mean that all those who want to buy new smart card passes, will have to go to the bus depots, but can renew it online. In February, the undertaking had started an SMS service to alert a commuter about the date of expiry of pass a week in advance.
The system of smart card passes works on the RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology and so information about the passes is stored directly on the server. This allows the undertaking to maintain a record of number of passes, which are renewed on a daily basis.
Initially, they had announced that the conductors carrying electronic ticket machines will also be able to renew passes. However, there hasn’t been much progress on this front.
The undertaking had started reissuing bus passes under the re-launched smart card system and has so far issued 2.7 lakh passes from 85 centres across the city.