BEST set to go cashless, pay for tickets from e-wallets from MarchUpdated: Feb 14, 2020 00:55 IST
The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) committee on Thursday cleared a proposal for the transport body towards going cashless. Passengers would be able to buy their bus tickets and renew passes on three mobile wallets – PhonePe, Paytm and PayPoint – by next month.
“Considering the heavy rush on buses, it’s difficult for conductors to issue tickets. So we decided to go cashless. Commuters can recharge their e-wallets to book the tickets,” BEST spokesperson Manoj Varhade said.
The transport body has also been getting a large collection of coins, worth ₹14 lakh every day, after it slashed its fares to ₹5 from ₹8 last year in July, and had thus considered to go cashless.
According to the undertaking’s proposal, PhonePe, Paytm and PayPoint will make user interface available for passengers to book BEST bus tickets, at a cost of 5 paise for a ₹5 ticket. After booking the tickets, passengers will get a six-digit code on their phones, which they can submit to get their tickets can either download the e-ticket/pass or to collect the hard copies of tickets from conductors.
The three firms have tied-up with BEST for three years, with a one-year extension period.
The transport body has already partnered with the Ridlr app to book bus tickets. However, after the app received poor response from passengers, BEST decided to rope in more e-wallet firms.
. According to a committee member, who did not wish to be named, the undertaking receives loose change worth ₹14 lakh every day, and presently has around ₹22-25 crore worth of coins which no bank is willing to exchange for notes. The ₹5-coin alone is worth ₹5.76 crore. Last year in November, BEST disbursed ₹1.76 crore worth of ₹5-coin to employees as part of their salaries. To avoid such hassles, the transport body considered going cashless.