We have seen how Private Airlines in INdia, like KingFisher (More are to follow in getting broken), have not only junked themselves, but have also caused rot in the Indian Public Sector Carriers Air India and Indian Airlines. Similar junking is going to take place in Telecom Sector, and Public Sector BSNL too is going to fall prey to the poaching by Private Sector wallahs like AirTel and Reliance (both blame one another). When it comes to Public Sector State Road Transport Corporations, we have seen how a Private Travel by name Kesineni Travels, and another named Divakar Travels (These are only two. There are numerous other Private Sector Travel Fellows) have through their unhealthy cut-throat-competitive practices have caused incalculable losses to Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation. This type of State of Affairs of Private Travels making Public Sector Road Transport Corporations is not limited only to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, and not only to States in India. It is a Universal Practice. It should be for the people of the respective countries and States to oppose such unhealthy practices and save their Roadway Corporations, Railways, Airlines from further bankruptcies and frenzies of Privatisations by the respective Governments.
Our Readers may know that the United Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation, Hyderabad, used to be for sometime the largest in the World, in terms of Fleet of Buses. The number of Bus Stations it owned and operated at its expense sans any additional charge to passengers, with good facilities to passengers, though may not be upto European or North American Standards, also used to be very large in the world, probably the largest number.
A.P.S.R.T.C has reduced its basic minimum ticket price from Rs. 7 to Rs.5/-
The reduction in price, the Corporation has attributed to the problem of getting small change. Well, we need not find fault with RTC for their decision. They have their own set of field level operational problems. It will also help the APSRTC to improve its Occupancy Ratios, and overcome competition from Autos, Private Buses and Minibuses,
APSRTC and other State RTCs should introduce sale of bulk advance coupon ticket books with counterfoils
While travelling in APSRTC Buses, I have come across many times, passengers giving Rs. 500/- or Rs. 2,000/- notes to Conductors, for buying tickets. The Passengers too have their own set of problems. In India, in Andhra Pradesh digital transactions have not yet picked up. Besides, for low value transactions like purchase of short distance bus tickets, digital transactions are neither convenient nor economical. One suggestion which I can give, is sale of advance ticket coupon books containing 30 / 60 / 100 tickets.
In India, usually, salaries and wages are paid on monthly basis, except in case of agricultural laborers. Whether monthly wages are paid, or daily/weekly wages are paid, people commute to their work places daily. That means every month they will be buying (after deducting 4 Sundays, and some holidays), 25 days x 2 (to and fro) = 50 tickets every month. Many such commuters may not hesitate to purchase bulk ticket books of 30, 50, 60, 100 numbers.
I have given above a simple model of ticket books which can be sold with counterfoils. These tickets may be sold with some discount of say from 3 to 10% as an incentive.
How advance ticket book method will be better than the Cat Cards which APSRTC is issuing at present
Ans: Cat CArds have not solved the problem of the card holders buying their journey tickets in buses. Cat Cards only dealt with the Incentive Problem. Cat card holders also have to give sufficient cash and change to conductors towards fare.
Advance Tickets must be printed on quality security paper with water marks, bar codes, embossed marks etc. etc. to prevent counterfeiting.
How they can be used: Before or immediately boarding the bus, the passenger should write on the ticket in his bulk ticket book, the place where he boarded the bus. Where the passenger is illiterate, he-she can take help from co-passengers. He-she should keep the ticket ready for handing over to conductor, instead of cash.
When a conductor approaches a passenger for ticket, the passenger will give the ticketand retain the counterfoil in the book with him/herself. Conductor will with his ball pen initial on the counterfoil. The Counterfoil book will serve as proof for the passenger. (This procedure of conductor's initialling can be discontinued, if there are no disputes about delivery of tickets.
In case any Traffic Inspectors / Ticket checking flying squads board the bus and carryout a surprise check on passengers, the passengers can show their counterfoil books.
Till bulk advance ticket book sales system becomes popular, existing system of Cash sales of that day's tickets in buses may be continued.
Conductors at the end of the day, submit all the advance tickets collected from passengers, as equivalent of cash, to the Depot Cash Office. They can check the genuineness of tickets on random basis, using some bar code machines, Ultra Violet Ray Machines, and other specially made machines for the purpose. Adhar Numbers on the tickets can also help in tracing out the Passenger's name and address, where needed.
If any counterfeit tickets are encountered, conductors can be given precautions for nabbing the culprits. Where counterfeiting is found to be rampant, conductors can also be given hand-instruments to carry out random checks of tickets, in case of doubts.
The tickets need not be route-specific. But they can be Depot Specific, Region Specific, Zone Specific. In long distance routes, people do not normally travel daily or frequently. Hence advance ticket books will not be popular in long distance routes. The books will be useful only for short distance routes, that means the ticket book issue, and the ticket book usage will often be in the same Depot Area or in the same Region or Zone. That means, verification of genuineness of tickets will be easy at local area levels. If necessary, APSRTC can have a Computer Network (its own dedicated network, or a network linked through Internet), for verifying the genuineness of the Advance Ticket Books, by typing ticket number or book number.
Validity period of the Advance Ticket Books
Normal validity can be: Left over period of current calender year + Forthcoming one calender year. Example: A ticket sold on 1st Dec. 2017 will be valid upto 31st Dec. 2018. A ticket sold on 2nd Jan 2017 will also be valid upto 31st Dec. 2018.
To come back and continue adding / deleting / modifying.