Commuters have one less thing to worry about as the Delhi government is rolling out a contactless, e-ticketing system in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus. Trial run of the e-ticketing system was initiated on Thursday across a few Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) cluster buses. For now, the e-ticketing facility has been made available on the 'One Delhi' mobile application and the government has plans to expand the facility to other privately-run firms.
According to a report in Hindustan Times state transport minister Kailash Gahlot said that even though the government is only allowing 20 passengers per bus there is a huge demand for buses as metro trains remain suspended. "Our aim is to use technology to ensure minimum or zero contact between people inside buses," Gahlot said. The government anticipates rolling out the contactless ticketing system fully in a month or two.
Rajan Girsa, research associate at Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) in Delhi is working on the project. He said that a passenger would be able to enter the bus and bus route numbers that will be available in a drop-box format. "A few more trials will be conducted in the coming days. Our system is an API which can be integrated with any app - for example PayTM, Flipkart, Ola or Uber. To make this fully successful, we will also have to feed in data of every bus number and route in the app, as well as enable maximum GPS tracking of each bus," Girsa said.
All cluster buses have GPS trackers but most DTC buses do not. The trial on Thursday was conducted in an air-condition DTC bus at the Indraprastha bus depot. A special task force has been constituted to conduct the trials. The order said that the task force has been created for "timely coordination and implementation of exploring the options of contactless mobile ticketing inside DTC and cluster buses so that no physical contact between the conductor and commuter takes place due to exchange of cash or ticket".
Officials from DTC and Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transport System Limited (DIMTS) as well as researchers from IIIT Delhi and experts from World Resources Institute, India are part of this task force.
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