E – Ticket to professionalize the city bus services
Bhutan Post, City Bus Service introduced the electronic ticket system (eticket system) for city bus services in Thimphu with effect from 1st September 2015. Under this system bus tickets are not issued inside the buses. The tickets will be available from authorized e-ticket outlets which are more than 75 in Thimphu, which sells electronic mobile vouchers of Tashi Cell and Bmobile. The tickets will be available in denominations of Nu.5 ranging upto Nu. 30. There will also be bulk tickets available in Nu.50 and Nu.150 - for multiple travels. The commuters are allowed to board only if they have a ticket. If the commuters travel without e-ticket(s) or on payment of bus fare to the conductor will be fined and disembarked. The tickets have no expiry date, so commuters can use a ticket whenever and whichever route they want to use on.
The public relation officer of Bhutan Postal Corporation Limited Dorji Wangchuk said that the government has introduced new system of e ticket to travel in city bus since two weeks ago. According to Dorji Wangchuk the purpose of introducing new system is to professionalize the system of city bus services , to look forward of feasibility to improve the bus service , give the best service to the passenger and to make commuter’s comfortable to travel.
The achievement of the e ticket, cannot commented now as the new system is running only two weeks. In order to create awareness on e ticket and overcome the challenges the Bhutan Post officials has already made advertisement on video clips and distributed voucher in different types of media including television to make passenger clear on how to follow the new system. There are 25 enumerators recruited to give detail information about the e ticket system. But common problem commuter faces is shortage of bus and no exact timings for the buses to travel as the bus leaves as and when the bus is full.
However to overcome the shortage of buses, Bhutan Post is expecting to come with 18 more buses as they already submitted proposal to the government.
The e ticket is designed in two types, multiple and single travel. Multiple travels can enter and exit from any roads where as single travel ticket can travel only to certain place according to the price coded in the ticket.
The benefit of inventing new system to the people is to assure safety, comfortable and able to follow traffic rules and regulation strictly.
The management of Bhutan Post has been making insisting efforts to all the passengers to cooperate with them. If any passengers are left without punching the ticket, insist conductor to punch the ticket and board the bus by buying tickets from e tickets outlets. In case of inspection if anybody is found without the ticket being punched both the conductor and passenger will be fined.
According to the conductor of Jungshina bus, Sherab Choden , she feel free and gets time to relax because she just have to punch the tickets while boarding the bus. There is no risk of getting retrenched from job because bus carries limited passengers and they cannot force the buses to take more than the capacity.
However the some of passengers complains of fading off prints and there is a chance of bringing same plan paper by passengers.
According to the passenger of Motithang, Aum Rada Om said she feel comfortable if she can get in the bus. But it is difficult at times as only limited passengers are being ferried by the Bhutan Post city buses. She will have to catch a taxi then and bus doesn’t stop if you do not have e tickets also.
“If government can provide more bus it would be very helpful to poor people like me because when city bus carry limited passenger and the taxi driver charges us more” she adds.
Bus ticket from the shops: Lyonpo D.N. Dhungyel , Minister for Information and Communications along with the UNDP Resident Representative in Bhutan Christina Carlson launches the e- ticket system for the city bus services in Thimphu on 1st of September 2015. (Picture courtesy: UNDP, Bhutan)