BEST will soon make trips cashless with digital payments
There's currently a heated debate taking place on the addition of conductorless buses by BEST in the city. Meanwhile, the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) committee today cleared a proposal for a new 'cashless' ride system for its passengers.
'We've decided to have more digital application service providers for ticketing via digital payment,' said Surendrakumar Bagde, the General Manager of BEST. He also mentioned that all the companies that came forward were considered suitable for this new proposal.BEST starts two new routes
The payment services that will offer this service include Phonepe Pvt Ltd, Pay Point India Network Pvt Ltd., and One97 Communications Limited (Paytm), thus covering a wide range of payment platforms that are currently used by Mumbaikars.
The authorities will probably look to blend this new ticketing feature into the BEST Prawas app which currently offers timetables and information on routes. In its current form, passengers can get tickets for a BEST bus trip through handheld electronic machines.
The addition of digital payments will save commuters the trouble of finding suitable change/cash while also having a record of the ticket on the mobile app. This move will complement the aforementioned proposal for conductorless buses as physical ticketing systems will no longer be required.
As for conductorless buses, some are raising valid concerns about the safety and security of its passengers, particularly women. In BEST buses that are handled by conductors, women can approach the conductor and even ask the bus to be taken to the nearest police station in the event of crimes like eve-teasing or sexual harassment.
Moreover, conductors also have the authority to take the bus to the nearest hospital in the event of an emergency. The authorities have said that they will bring these issues up at the next BEST panel meeting.