Mangaluru, May 30, 2020: From June 1, private city buses in Mangaluru will resume their services with an added attraction of offering passengers the option of paying travel fares through smart cards.
According to Dakshina Kannada Bus Operators Association president Dilraj Alva, 50 % of 325 private city buses will resume their services on Monday. It also meant that 50 % of buses will operate on th allotted routes.
The smart cards (or travel cards called Chalo Card) will not be introduced on all routes at a time. They will be introduced in a phased manner covering all routes from Monday.
Mr. Alva said that the association has tied up with a private company for issuing smart cards to passengers. Passengers can purchase the cards at the association’s office at Milagres. In addition, they can be purchased at kiosks to be set up near Mangaladevi Temple, at State Bank of India bus terminus and at Surathkal.
Each card is valid for a year. They can be re-charged from a minimum amount of ₹ 100 to a maximum amount of ₹ 10,000. If a passenger purchased only the card without re-charging at the time of purchase, one has to pay ₹ 35 as the cost of the card. If purchased along with re-charging the minimum amount and more, the card cost will be waived and the amount re-charged can be fully utilised during the travel.
Mr. Alva said that the conductors are now being trained on the use of smart cards. Some conductors will be trained on the bus during the travel. They will have to deduct the amount based on the travel point of passenger.
He said that smart cards had been introduced on a trial basis on route number 27 (State Bank-Mangaladevi) even before the lockdown. In all, 56 cards had been sold on the route then.
Once the smart cards become popular, the association will make them available for purchase from conductors itself. With this, passengers need not go to any kiosk to purchase them.
He said that when the cards are used, both the passenger and the conductor are free from the hassle of exchanging the cash.
The association now has 1,500 cards ready with it. They will be made and issued depending on the response from passengers.