Cool cashless travel on cards

Patna, June 15: Travelling in Bihar would soon be a cashless affair. User-friendly mobility cards would make it possible.

The users of these cards would have to pay one-time money for buying them. Thereafter, they would be able to travel in state-run buses and select taxis by swiping them in a machine. The fare would be automatically deducted. When the balance of the cards would exhaust, the users would have to recharge them.

The state tourism and transport departments are jointly working on a project to introduce the use of mobility cards. “It is likely to be introduced in three months,” tourism department principal secretary Deepak Kumar told The Telegraph.

He said the Centre has approved UTI-TSL for making these cards. The same agency would be invited to Bihar for making the cards.

Besides the city bus services, the mobility cardholders would be entitled to avail the bus services of Bihar State Road Transport Corporation (BSRTC) and Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation (BSTDC). They would also be able to travel in radio taxis to be launched in the state capital soon.

“We will provide a plethora of options to commuters. The introduction of mobility card would help people travel cashless,” Kumar said, adding that a provision for concession to encourage its use was also under consideration.

The principal secretary made it clear that at present the emphasis was on introducing quality bus and taxi services so that commuters had enough options for using the mobility cards.

One of the steps towards introducing the quality service pertains to running luxury buses under the public-private-partnership (PPP) mode by BSRTC on several routes. The BSRTC has also decided to launch services of air-conditioned buses using the PPP mode in days to come.

Apart from providing connectivity to different cities of the state, BSRTC has launched city bus services in Patna. Similar services would be launched in Gaya, Muzaffarpur and Bhagalpur soon.

The Patna city bus service would soon witness introduction of air-conditioned buses on select routes.

As far as the services of the radio taxis are concerned, the BSTDC has begun the exercise of selecting the agency to provide the service.

The service would enable the city residents to board taxis from their doorstep within half-an-hour of making call to a control room. It would also be made available at important commercial hubs. All these taxis would have electronic meters to determine the fare. Both air-conditioned and non air-conditioned vehicles would be made available under this service.

To begin with, around 30 radio taxis would be pressed into service. The number of vehicles would be increased according to the demand from the users.

Source: The Telegraph. SANJEEV KUMAR VERMA AND PIYUSH KUMAR TRIPATHI

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