Kolkata to introduce the West Bengal Transport Card, an all-in-one public transport pass which could well become something like an all-in-one Oyster Card in London.
Launched by the Mamata Banerjee government, the ‘West Bengal Transport Card’ will enable commuters to swipe and pay fares on all state-run buses, trams and ferries in the city of Kolkata. The transport card is currently on sale at five major bus stations in Kolkata and soon will be available from 20 locations across the city.
Interestingly, transport minister Shubhendu Adhikari has said that “The transport card does not include the city’s famous metro service. It is because that’s under the Central government”, he added.
Senior officials have said that they eventually plan on getting the Metro included with this card.
Another update regarding the same is that the drivers and conductors of state-run buses will now have a new uniform. Light blue shirts with dark blue trousers. There will be Mamata Banerjee’s slogan, ‘Safe Drive, Save Life’ embossed on the uniform.
The earlier uniform of the drivers and conductors was khaki coloured.
An app is also being launched called ‘Patha Disha’ which will help commuters by providing them with real-time information about the location of the bus, availability of seats, availability of buses and the time it will take to reach their destination.
The buses will be fitted with GPS systems and to ensure safety of women and other passengers, every bus will be equipped with CCTV and a panic button. It can be pressed in the event of an emergency. The app will also help in ‘accident management’. In the event of a mishap, the police, hospitals, fire stations and other agencies will get an alert so prompt assistance can be provided on the spot.
The initiative is being taken by the World Bank and the Korea Green Growth Trust Fund.
“As one of the most densely populated cities, Kolkata is a challenge but could soon join the ranks of cities like London and Seoul which use data to deliver better transport,” said Ms R Basu, World Bank.
Source: India Today