In a positive development, Hubballi headquartered North Western Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) has surpassed 2 Crores worth of UPI payments for buying bus tickets.
Embracing the Digital India mission, NWKRTC started accepting UPI payments in September 2023 as a mode to buy tickets in the buses operated by NWKRTC.
The move gained widespread positive response from the travellers. Since then, as many as 1 lakh UPI transactions have been performed to buy bus tickets.
NWKRTC started accepting UPI payments in the buses operated by Hubballi Mofussil-3 depot as a pilot project. The move quickly gained traction as more than 6000+ transactions were done in just 20 days.
NWKRTC selected Hubballi M-3 depot as it had better-trained crew and high-value tickets. The depot was selected as it is found to have higher Digital literacy amongst others.
The move enabled NWKRTC to expand the facility to 450 buses operated by the Hubballi division. NWKRTC has partnered with PhonePe to accept UPI payments in its buses.
Encouraged by the positive response, NWKRTC MD Bharath Selvan said that they are planning to extend the facility to all 6 districts under the jurisdiction of NWKRTC.
PhonePe has provided QR code scanners to the conductors where passengers can scan the QR code to complete the payment. PhonePe has also set up a dashboard at Hubballi headquarters to track payments.
Until now, only Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) was accepting UPI as a mode of payment to buy tickets on board BMTC buses in Karnataka.
However, the facility is limited to a few AC buses like Vajra and Vayu Vajra (Airport services). Other RTCs like KSRTC and KKRTC (formerly NEKRTC) are yet to introduce a UPI-based ticketing system.
Most of the time, the ticket fares are not rounded off. That necessitates commuters to carry exact change to buy tickets which may not be possible at all times.
In many instances, if commuters do not have exact fare conductors write change in the backside of the ticket which needs to be collected while getting down from the bus.
Often in a hurry, commuters fail to collect change while deboarding. The UPI-based ticketing system will solve this issue, making travel hassle-free for commuters.