First Business News Portal in English from Nepal
KATHMANDU: The Department of Transport Management (DoTM) had decided to make online ticket booking mandatory for public transportation services last year, however, the plan has yet to materialize.
The department initiated the process in September amid the coronavirus pandemic and is still in the process of developing the software for the online ticket system.
Lok Nath Bhusal, information officer at the department, said, “We are developing an online ticket system for vehicles travelling long distances or in between different provinces.”
He added that the department is also developing software that will link all online ticketing portals or apps. “We expect to complete all the necessary procedures by the end of the current fiscal year,” Bhusal mentioned, which basically means that the online ticket booking system will not be available for this Dashain and Tihar.
According to the department, it will take time to implement the software because it needs to be linked with the banks and each individual’s bank account. The department will be integrating all other online ticket booking portals. “Other vehicle entrepreneurs also need to develop an online system. For this, we are holding discussions with the federation of transport entrepreneurs too. They are also in favor of shifting to an online ticket system,” shared Bhusal.
Yearly, around two million passengers leave the valley for Dashain and Tihar. Bhusal said that the number might decrease to around 400,000 this year due to the COVID-19. “The e-ticket system won’t be implemented for this Dashain. Yet, some vehicle entrepreneurs might have arranged e-ticketing through their applications for their passengers,” he informed.
Till date, passengers have to physically visit the booking counters to purchase tickets for public transportation. Thus, during Dashain and Tihar when there are a large number of people wanting to travel, the ticket counters are always crowded with passengers. It is during such situations that passengers often get cheated by middle-men who create an artificial shortage of tickets. The department expects to minimize such problems after the implementation of the online ticketing system.
The Tourist Bus Association of Nepal has already started e-ticketing service for passengers of tourist vehicles to provide them convenient ticketing service.
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