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PM to formally launch ‘Rapid Pass’ Thursday

Government wants to make the uniform transport ticketing system popular

Munima Sultana | January 02, 2018 00:00:00

The authorities have taken a move to make 'Rapid Pass' popular for facilitating its planned introduction for all modes of public transports in the city.

As part of the effort, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to formally launch the smart integrated-circuit (IC) card, which is already in use in cases of some public transports under a pilot scheme, through a video conference and by touching a device at her office on Thursday.

Following the formal launching, sources said, Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) will start a bus journey from its Motijheel depot with passengers using the cards.

They said the PM's touch would help create awareness among the people about the service and develop confidence to accept the cards while encouraging the transport operators to introduce the modern ticketing service in their vehicles.

"It will not only reduce the cost of bus operators, but also check pilferage during the process of both selling and using tickets," said an official.

Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA) has been working on introducing the system since 2014 under a Tk 390 million project titled 'Establishment of a Clearing House for Integrating Transport Ticketing System in Dhaka City Area' with the support of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Though the Rapid Pass has originally been planned for all the bus, train and water transports, it would finally be useful for the mass transit system mainly metro rail, sources said.

With the modern system, fares will be calculated from the device information and deducted from respective commuters' cards by assessing their starting and ending points of trips.

Officials said that nearly 750 Rapid Passes have so far been issued to bus commuters on Uttara-Motijheel route of Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) and a private bus company, Omama, since launching of the pilot project.

Besides, a measure was also taken to introduce the system in Dhakar Chaka, a private circular bus service introduced in the city's Gulshan-Banani area. DTCA and Dhakar Chaka signed an agreement in this connection on December 18 last.

DTCA also launched a project with Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) to introduce the card, but yet to complete the process of introducing it in all ferries and launch services.

According to the DTCA, all the card information is recorded in the clearing house, which is set up in DTCA office while the transport operators would get their due shares from the data.

Assigned bank Dutch Bangla maintains the clearing house data to disburse the share among each of the operators.

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