In order to ensure minimal contact between passengers and conductors, the Delhi government will launch an e-ticketing system for its buses. 

The state transport department on Thursday started a trial run of the contactless ticketing system in a few Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) cluster buses.  

The trials involve upgrading the operational ‘One Delhi’ mobile application with an e-ticketing system for purchasing bus tickets either in advance or in buses. The government is also working on expanding the ticket-issuing service to privately-run firms as well. 

Considering the Delhi metro remains shut, the onus lies on buses which leads to increase in the public demand for buses. The government is aiming at rolling out the contactless ticketing system in a month or two.

A research associate at the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Delhi, who is working on the project, told Hindustan Times that in the upgraded app, passengers will now be able to pay either based on the fare or by the destination. 

DTC and cluster bus fares in Delhi range from ₹5, ₹10, ₹15 and (for AC buses) ₹25. The app will require the person travelling, to enter the bus and bus route numbers, which will be available in a drop-box format.

Since the system is an API (application interface), it can be integrated with any app like, PayTM, Flipkart, Ola or Uber. To make this fully successful, the authorities will also have to feed in data of every bus number and route in the app, as well as enable maximum GPS tracking of each bus. At present, while all cluster buses have GPS trackers, a majority of DTC buses do not.  

A field trial was conducted on Thursday in an air-conditioned DTC bus (number 763) at the Indraprastha bus depot, plying from Nizamuddin railway station to the Uttam Nagar bus terminal.

A special task force led by deputy commissioner (cluster), has been constituted to conduct these trials to make sure timely coordination and implementation of exploring the options of contactless mobile ticketing inside DTC and cluster buses so that no physical contact between the conductor and commuter takes place due to exchange of cash or ticket.  

As per the Officials in the DTC, they are currently operating over 1,000 buses for public transport across the city, while around 1,600 are deployed for transportation of health workers and to maintain law and order.