BMTC buses not yet UPI savvy

City Transport

QR ticketing in BMTC buses delayed as the transport corporation fails to provide Paytm soundboxes.

Issuing of daily bus tickets through Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is getting delayed as the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has failed to provide Paytm soundboxes to Volvo AC buses.

A BMTC official said, “We planned to provide  Paytm soundboxes in Vajra AC buses but due to some network issues, we were unable to install them.”

BMTC introduced the Quick Response (QR)-code ticketing system in May 2020 to ensure the cashless transactions for travelling so that passengers could use UPI payments to get daily, weekly and monthly passes.

A report showed that BMTC bus conductors find it difficult to keep a record of UPI payments on a daily basis. They complained of not receiving the ticket money.

“For now we do not have any plans to  provide Paytm soundboxes for AC buses. BMTC has around 300 AC buses. Each bus has a  QR-code provided by Tummoc. He added that the QR-code works only for those commuters who want a monthly pass.   “These QR- codes cannot be used to make UPI payments for daily tickets.”

A BMTC bus conductor  travelling to Majestic said, “A few passengers said that they  paid the amount for the ticket but the money did not reflect in our account when we checked at the end of the shift.

“The E-ticketing machine for the bills paid through UPI either produced a blank copy of the bill  or the amount on printed copy was unclear,” he added.

Naveen B, transport expert at Indian Institute of Science (IISC), said that it is a good move that QR-codes are being used to provide monthly passes. However, he added, “Since BMTC conductors deal with a lot of passengers and are swift in providing tickets, making payments through Paytm soundboxes may not be a feasible solution for calculating.”

He added that the soundbox may create a lot of noise and overlapping announcements for multiple payments can be troublesome. “Instead ticket vending machines will have a record of payments and will be easier to make calculations.” 

Shruti, a regular BMTC bus commuter from Kidwai Memorial Institute to Majestic, says, “When QR-code tickets were introduced, it was easier for me to pay through UPI. I have been taking BMTC buses from 2014, when the AC buses were not even introduced. After the AC buses came on this route, I prefer taking AC buses.” She added that sometimes she   faced problems while giving change  to the bus conductors but she found UPI payments easy.

 The Times of India reported that BMTC reintroduced the QR-code ticketing system in 2021 which  allowed  passengers to  buy tickets online through UPI payment. Till now,  Paytm soundboxes  have not been provided in any BMTC AC buses.

Dev, a software analyst, said, “Paytm soundboxes are available online and can be easily connected to the UPI app on our phones. QR- code ticketing will help the public get easy access of buying tickets by making the payments quicker.”