Welcoming the e-ticket system in public transport services, the Bangladesh Jatri Kalyan Samity has demanded radical reform of the transport sector and complete information of government set e-ticket fares in the system.
In a discussion on e-ticketing, "Dhaka City Bus Services: Expectation of Passengers", at Dhaka Reporters Unity on Wednesday, the organisation said e-ticketing for city bus services will not be worthwhile if transportation sector reforms are not done alongside to address long standing problems in the sector.
The e-tickets currently provided do not have complete information, although each ticket is supposed to have the name of the ticket issuing bus, its registration number, destination, fare, travel date and complaint centre numbers, it said.
The organisation also said some e-tickets mention only bus fares. In such cases, passengers have no opportunity to lodge any complaint against extra fares collected on buses.
No fresh investments have been made in city bus services for a long time causing various problems, including irritating traffic congestion and extortion. It is feared the sector may face an extreme crisis due to losses, the organisation says.
Jatri Kalyan Samity Secretary General, Mozammel Haque Chowdhury, said a ticket means a receipt of service cost. As per international consumers rights act, there is an obligation to provide a receipt for the price of every product or service.
He also said, as a precondition to setting bus fares, appointment letters of drivers and helpers, their salaries, and overtime allowances, have to be ensured.
People will gradually turn to buses if rickety buses are removed from city streets, the overall environment of buses is improved, if the government implements fixed fares, if various facilities are ensured for buses, including the provision of separate dedicated lanes.
Swadesh Kumar Das, deputy director of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (Dhaka Division), said the BRTA has been regularly conducting drives with mobile courts in the city to ensure government fixed bus fares. The drives will be intensified in the future.