Friday, March 21, 2008

Potential Loss for BEST?

Monthly and quarterly passes from the brihanmumbai electric supply & transport (BEST) is probably one of the best, albeit much-delayed, things to have come out. It does away with the need to have change in your hands every time you board the bus. Besides, with nobody except the BEST accepting 25p coins, you would have got saddled with these coins that aren't accepted, pretty much, everywhere. First the BEST issued monthly passes, but now even quarterly passes are available, so it's very convenient. Besides, passes work out to be cheaper than tickets in the long run.

However, there's a problem. Many bus conductors do not check the passes for their validity. As it is a tedious process to check the pass- the pass needs to be placed properly below the card reader, itself a bulky calculator-like device, identity number needs to be fed, etc., bus conductors sometimes do not check all this. They just see a pass in our hands and acknowledge their acceptance and move ahead.

To you and me, this may sound a good gesture, that the bus conductor trusts you, etc., but it could be misused by a number of people in the long run. As passes become more popular, more and more people will start using it. Cunning passengers who observe certain gullible conductors that do not check passes, may be tempted to use their friend's or acquaintance's passes and travel on buses on free. The BEST could loose precious revenue this way.

It is in the BEST's interest that the bus conductors start checking each and every passes on all routes.

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