All bus tickets on the Mirpur route will be sold through electronic devices from today (Sunday) as part of a move to remove irregularities in fare collection based on distances and bring discipline in the operating system.
After successful introduction of e-ticketing under a pilot system through eight companies operating from Mirpur, the Dhaka Bus Owners' Association (DBOA) has now decided to introduce the electronic ticketing through 30 bus companies effective from today (Sunday).
Announcing this at a press conference on Saturday, DBOA general secretary Khandaker Enayet Ullah said that all bus tickets of 60 companies operating in Dhaka city would be brought under the e-ticketing system by January 31 next. After that, all 97 bus companies operating in the capital and other cities and towns in its suburbs and outskirts will be brought under this system, he said.
"We have decided to bring all 97 companies operating in the capital and other cities and towns in its vicinity under the e-ticketing system by February 28 as piloting of it introduced through the first 8 companies on the Mirpur route has been successful," the association leader said.
He said that it was found that introduction of the electronic device in issuing bus tickets improved income of each bus.
Expecting that introduction of the system through all 97 companies will bring various successes besides enhancing earning, Mr Enayet Ullah, also the secretary general of the Bangladesh Road Transport Owners Association, said the move is likely to end alleged abnormal fare collection by different bus operators. "The allegations of abnormal fare collection now being made by passengers and unfair competition by buses will come to an end after all city buses go for e-ticketing," he said.
He, however, did not explain when asked how the system will successfully check unfair competition among the drivers as buses are owned by different people under one company.
The bus owners' leader said the move has been taken after holding consultation multiple times with managing directors and chairmen of all other bus companies.
However, instead of keeping the electronic device at bus stations and pick and drop points, the association directed to keep the device inside buses and appoint a person for this purpose in buses by the companies.
Jatri, an IT firm, has been giving the support to use the system for the bus companies allowing the owners to remotely know daily earning from each buses.
Mr Enayet Ullah said at present, 97 companies run 5,650 buses in Dhaka and its suburbs including Gazipur, Munshiganj, Savar and Nabinagar. The e-ticketing is also set to end bus leasing system which is usually practiced by the drivers and helpers.
About allegation that bus workers are lowly paid by the owners, he said salaries of drivers and helpers have been hiked significantly to ensure that the e-ticketing brings the expected result and bring disciplines (in the sector). "Any allegation on low payment to them will be addressed," he assured.
He also claimed that, with the succesful efforts of the association, gate-lock service and way-billing system have been stopped in the city now.
When asked if the association was considering announcing minimum wage for transport workers, he declined to comment.
Regarding violation of e-ticketing service by any bus company, Mr Enayet Ullah said a monitoring system with three hotlines will be there to resolve any problems or complaint raised by passengers. The numbers are 01618933531, 01618936185 and 01870146422.