Commuters can use the ‘West Bengal Transport Card’ to swipe and pay fares across various transportation modes in Kolkata, including state-run buses, trams and ferries. Metro has been excluded from the transport card services as it is in the Central Government domain.
The smart card services can be used in 700 buses at present, and will be extended to further 300 buses in a few months.
The transport card is currently being sold at five major bus stations in the city. Soon, these cards will be available at 20 other locations.
PathaDisha App is part of the Vision 2016 initiative of the Transport Department and enables commuters to verify the location of a bus, its route and destinations, as well as the availability of seats and crowd in the bus.
The Transport Department has also started installing GPS systems and CCTV camera in the buses to ensure safety of women. A panic button in each bus has also been established in every bus which can be used in case of emergencies.
The app will facilitate ‘accident management’ to send alerts to police, hospitals, fire stations and other agencies during a mishap or accident, that will enable relevant assistance to be rushed to the location.
“As one of the most densely populated cities, Kolkata is a challenge but could soon join the ranks of cities like London and Seoul which use data to deliver better transport,” said R Basu of World Bank.