Post COVID-19, life will not be the same. People from different spheres of life will see different changes. For commuters of the AP State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) buses, it will be a new experience of cashless travel.
The officials of the giant public carrier are currently running dummy trials of this new mode of travel which will eliminate the risk of coming in contact with the driver or conductor in the bus.
“We are visualising a scenario of buses without conductors to facilitate cashless transactions. This is imperative in the wake of the COVID-19 guidelines that mandate physical distance,” said an official of the corporation.
Even as the operation trials are on, the top officials of the transport corporation are also looking into the tentative guidelines of operating only 50% of the buses from their fleet and making use of only 50% of the seats in each bus, as part of social distancing.
The RTC had launched an app and a smart card in February as part of digitisation of the operations. Little did the officials know that this particular tool “Chalo” app would come handy for them in the post-COVID-19 scenario to maintain distance among commuters.
The Chalo app and a smart travel card by the same name, is a pre-paid card that enables a commuter to buy bus ticket on the go. The plan is to rationalise a fare for entire Vijayawada city.
For instance, if a person equipped with the “Chalo” smart card boards an RTC bus, all he has to do is tap the pre-paid card on a machine and the bus fare will be deducted from his account.
“It is a closed loop payment system which will allow a hassle-free transaction and a risk-free travel for the commuter in the times of COVID,” said the official.
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