Emphasising the need for contactless transaction amid the pandemic outbreak, the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking has finally set up a cashless process with UPI payment systems, after a prolonged wait to go digital.
Now, BEST conductors have been provided badges with QR codes, and by scanning the code, commuters will get a paperless ticket generated on their mobile phones.
This is the first step BEST has taken towards a 'complete digital system' of payment. Currently, only one payment aggregator has been roped in for the operation. Commuters with PhonePe app can directly book their tickets.
The project is being run on a pilot basis currently and the UPI payment booking system is only available at the Wadala depot for now. It will shortly be available at Colaba depot as well.
"Going cashless have been our priority for long, considering the problem we have with loose coins. We would have done this long ago but things came to a standstill amid the cCoronavirus pandemic, so we have launched this operation now," said a senior BEST official.
"The project has been launched on a pilot basis and will be expanded accordingly. At present, this facility is available at Wadala depot. Soon, conductors of the Colaba depot too will be provided with badges," the official said.
Meanwhile, there has been a spike in the undertaking's revenue over the last one week. With BEST pressing more buses from its fleet into service every day, the number of passeners being ferried have also risen.
According to its spokesperson Manoj Varade, BEST earned an average revenue of Rs 80 lakh each day in the current week, compared to a daily average of Rs 54 lakh last week.