Tuesday, August 3

West Bengal offers single-ticket rides to pandal-hoppers

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This festive season, buy one ticket, hop on any bus, get off at any Puja and then take another bus to another pandal. The West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC) will be continuing a massively popular common all-day ticketing system to offer pandal-hoppers easy commute during the festive days.

The common ticket will be applicable on AC and non-AC buses, trams and ferries. A Rs 100 ticket will allow a person to take any number of trips to anywhere in the city for a day. “Last year, we served 8 lakh to 10 lakh revellers from Mahalaya to Navami, and managed to earn a revenue of RS 10 crore. Since the tickets were sold out and we had to turn several people away, we are widening the services this year,” said Bengal.

“One ticket will offer unlimited trips across the city by bus, tram and vessels. It is called ‘hop-on-hop-off Puja parikrama’ and if this succeeds this year too, the model will be replicated for other festivals,” said transport secretary Narayan Swarup Nigam.

The tickets will be available with bus conductors and at designated depots of WBTC. “This option will give Puja revellers unlimited freedom to choose the route, direction and time to visit any pandal at any place and at any time. We have chosen some routes for pandal hopping on an experimental basis,” said a transport department official. He added that the model may be replicated for tourists during winter to cover popular spots.

Across Europe and the US, travellers avail of special hop-on, hop-off buses during the day to visit places of tourist interest. Usually, there are guides on board who give a commentary on these places as the buses make their way through the city. The buses stop for a couple of minutes at each historical site or place of interest so that people can alight or board it.

In Europe, the service usually ends around 6pm, after which travellers have to avail of regular public transport and pay separately for these rides.



Source: Times of India

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