Taking a cue from the airline industry, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is planning an e-ticketing initiative. The project will enable customers to get printed tickets in the comfort of their homes, without the intervention of a third party.
The project, which would be launched by August this year, is expected to help the corporation rope in more customers in the upper middle class segment, said KSRTC managing director V Madhu. “We have a small margin of customers in the upper middle class segment currently, for our premium services. But in this sector, we find that people are reluctant to stand in queues to secure or book tickets.” KSRTC runs a 4500 strong fleet in Karnataka and earned a turnover of Rs 800 crore for the past year. It would shortly begin talks with banks and software companies to get the infrastructure for the payment gateways and the operations, Mr Madhu said. KSRTC has over 100 online reservation centres in Bangalore, from where customers can book tickets. Such centres would soon be set up in six major districts in the state, he said. Technology would also be brought in to fine tune its fleet management system. Close on the heels of BMTC (Bangalore Metro Transport Company), the state transport body is shortly expected to tender global positioning system (GPS) for its buses. As per plans, GPS track and trace solution (that will map the bus route right through its entire path and furnish reports on the exact number of stops, the load it carried, etc) would be installed in 2000 buses on a trial basis, Mr Madhu said. “The project would make accident control more easier and help us provide more efficient service to our commuters,” Mr Madhu said, adding that the project was expected to cost KSRTC around Rs 2,000 per bus on an annual basis. The corporation has also tied up with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) to initiate emission control experiments in auto fuels. The experiments involve using diesel mixed with ethanol, water or Honke oil to control the amount of particulate matter in emissions. KSRTC is aiming to bring down the smoke density from its buses to 28 hatridge units from the current 45 hatridge units.