BMTC plans to introduce hand-held ticketing machines in all its buses in next two months, hopes to curb the malpractice of issuing forged tickets
Grappling with the problem of fake bus tickets and passes, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has decided to introduce electronic ticketing machines on all its 6,000 buses to stop the malpractice that bleeds the BMTC of revenue to the tune of lakhs of rupees.
A bus conductor issuing tickets to passengers in the city yesterday
The alarm bells were set off when BMTC's vigilance squad caught its own conductor red-handed issuing fake bus tickets and handed him over to the police. During investigations, it was unearthed that the conductor used to scan the original tickets and issued the scanned copies to the passengers.
The conductor in question had been operating on the route for some time. At the time of his arrest, fake tickets worth Rs 2,200 were found in his possession. The accused is still in police custody.
According to BMTC sources, the conductor alone would have caused revenue losses to the tune of lakhs of rupees. Thought the BMTC is aware that such activities, it claims helplessness in stopping the malpractice. "These issues are brought to light during vigilance squad raids.
The issue of fake tickets is like fake currencies, despite adequate measures, they still keep on circulating," said M P Prabhudas, Chief Traffic Manager (Operations), BMTC.
The situation, however, BMTC claims is in control as compared to earlier when a wider ring used to operate around the city outskirts such as Hoskote and Peenya. To guard against duplication of its tickets, the BMTC has a watermark of its logo on a regular ticket, while its day-pass carries a 3D hologram.
"Introducing the electronic ticketing machines in all the BMTC buses is the only effective way to tackle this menace. We have already initiated the process and within two months, all the 6,000 buses in the city will have these machines," added Prabhudas. At present, around 600 volvo buses have the ETMs in the city.
Now, BMTC is planning to introduce the ETMs in its 6,000 buses in phases in next two months. These ETMs will be equipped with the latest technology and will have new features like smartcard readability, he added.
M K Shankarlinge Gowda, principal secretary (Transport) said the issue of fake tickets and passes has been plaguing the BMTC for long. "It is the failure of BMTC's vigilance team.
They should actually be hauled up.
It also shows that the number of vigilance checks are not adequate," he said, adding that they had issued the directive to introduce ETMs in buses in June, but the implementation has not started yet.
The number of buses that the transport corporation operates in city