Udupi, Dec 19, 2016 : While the nation slowly becomes cashless, Udupi is doing its bit by adopting cashless travel on service and express buses using cash cards
The system provides many options to commuters. Once the card is charged with a particular amount, she can travel in any Canara Combined Transport (CCT) buses for an unlimited period. and it’s valid for a year. If the passenger recharges for Rs 1,000, she is eligible to travel for Rs 1,100 in service and express buses as the top-up gives a 10% bonus. If the card is lost, it can be blocked like an ATM.
In 2008, radio frequency identification (RFID) technology was implemented. The RFID technology is limited to regular commuters and they’ll get up to 35%-40% discount during recharge. It’s valid for a month.
The RFID supports commuter travelling only to a particular distance with recharge. During the journey, commuters have to submit the card to the conductor who places the card in front of the machine and the amount will be deducted and the ticket issued. The commuter will be allowed to travel only once a day.
K Suresh Nayak, president, Udupi City Bus Owners’ Association, and secretary, Canara Bus Operators’ Association, said, "We have a huge demand for cash cards. The only problem is with city buses as the distance between stops are less and in rush situations, they may not able to swipe the card one by one. This has created confusion and that’s why all bus owners have organized a meeting to take final decision on Sunday. If it works out well, within a month cash cards will be implemented in the city."
Udupi city service and express buses are still running at the old rate which was fixed in 2013. It was upgraded in Mangaluru with Rs 8 minimum charge. However, once Mangaluru express bus crosses Hejammadi, they take only Rs 7 as minimum charge. Ticket machines have a minimum charge of Rs 8, and if conductors collect Rs 8, there’ll be a big fuss. The Udupi deputy commissioner is not ready to increase the rate," he added.
Sudhakar Achar of Malpe said, "I’m happy with this idea. The cards will help both conductor sand passengers in dealing with the change issue. Most often, we don’t get our change as the conductor says he’ll give it later but forgets. The card will be good as we don’t have to carry cash. I hope it’s implemented at the earliest."