Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Pass ya fail?

Bangalores local bus transport system has a bus pass that lets you travel all over Bangalore for about 30 odd rupees. (Theres a golden pass too that lets you go gallivanting on the magnificent air conditioned Volvos for about Rs. 75.) Whatever the type, these passes created an aftermarket.

Because it was a day pass, there is no photographic identify, so in theory someone in a family could buy a pass, use it for the first half of the day and then pass it on to someone else. Why family, anybody could do it. Indeed, an aftermarket was created where people sold used passes for a discount. So, the BMTC required conductors to note the gender on the pass. That makes it that much more difficult. But it was not enough. So, now it requires age to specified as well. Which is a smart move, it limits it further - but it can be done with friends of the same age group. But how really can the BMTC prevent money leaking out through bus passes. Given the tough time conductors have in issuing tickets, how can it be done?

Cut to the Mumbai suburban system. To get a train pass, one has to procure an i-card. But given the suburban train system, ticket checkers find it impossibly difficult to check anything more than the expiry date of the pass. Unless both the pass and the i-card are checked it is quite easy to misuse the pass.

Sure, smart cards etc etc., but that robs people of the convenience and also puts in an entry barrier. Technology also can be used, but is there a way that companies issuing passes can reduce misuse? Any out of the box solution possible?

Interesting problem to resolve, right?

5 comments:

shrek said...

Quite simple really.. something followed in other countries as well. You write a name on the ticket as soon as you buy it. A ticket without a name is invalid and the conductor can ask for an identification - a DL or a student's id

neelakantan said...

Actually, thats a provision that already exists. But the gap in implementation is that conductors dont have the time to do the checking in a crowded bus...

Tanuj Lakhina said...

How about a simple picture of the person on that ticket?How long would it take to check that..

Magic Puddles said...

the tirumala solution may work..a wristband (with the date printed on it) which cannot be opened without cutting it....

SRK said...

an interesting question to ask is whether the conductor *wants* to check the passes properly...

my experience has been that even when I asked for a ticket and not a day pass, he gave me a day pass... which he promptly took back when I was alighting the bus... and pocketed the 5 bucks which I had given him for the ticket...