Kolkata: The West Bengal government on Wednesday launched the ‘West Bengal Transport Card’ which will enable commuters to swipe and pay fares on all state-run buses, trams and ferries in the city. The system is much akin to London’s all-in-one Oyster Card for the metropolis’ transport.Oyster card is used for all public transport, including the Tube.
The transport card does not include the city’s famous metro service, said transport minister Shubhendu Adhikari. It is because “that’s under the Central government”, he added. Senior officials said eventually they would like to get Metro on board.
The transport division saw two other big steps. The drivers and conductors of state-run buses now have a new uniform — dark blue trousers and light blue shirts with Mamata Banerjee’s slogan, ‘Safe Drive, Save Life’ embossed on it. The earlier uniform was khaki coloured.
Kolkata bus drivers don a new uniform now with Mamata Banerjee’s slogan on it
Smart phone app called ‘Patha Disha’ was also launched that will give commuters real-time information on how far their bus is, whether there are seats available, what buses are available and how long it will take to reach their destination. It would also enable users to find out how crowded the bus is.
Not only will the buses have GPS systems installed, to ensure safety of women, every bus will have CCTV and a panic button that can be pressed in case of an emergency.
The World Bank is supporting the initiative, along with Korea Green Growth Trust Fund.
” The transport card is currently on sale at five major bus stations in Kolkata. They will be available from 20 locations soon.