Many buses didn't have a ticketing system at all in the past and the supervisors would collect fare as they pleased. This is no longer possible with e-ticketing
A passenger speaking to Prothom Alo

Earlier, on 22 September last year four transport companies started e-ticketing on a trial basis. This advanced system of fare collection was first put in place when buses of 30 companies of the Mirpur zone came under e-ticketing on 13 November last year.

Problems crop up when any new system is put in place and e-ticketing was no exception. Initially many passengers wanted to pay in the old manner, unwilling to take e-tickets.

In some places the POS machine was out of order and there were also complaints of being overcharged. But overall, the passengers welcomed e-ticketing. Speaking to Prothom Alo, a passenger said, many buses didn't have a ticketing system at all in the past and the supervisors would collect fare as they pleased. This is no longer possible with e-ticketing.

The method of fare collection so far had been a harassment for the passengers. Arguments and clashes often broke out between the passengers and the bus staff over the fare. In this city of traffic jams, it is essential that order be brought to the public transport system.

The integrated bus service introduced in Dhaka North and South city corporations must be lauded. This was first introduced by the former mayor of Dhaka North city corporation Anisul Huq. Another positive initiative is the decision taken by Dhaka North city corporation to provide bus service to four schools.

If this initiative can cover all schools in the city, this will have a positive effect on the traffic congestion. But schools buses are not a permanent solution of the problems of densely populated Dhaka city. In the future, a plan must be taken up to have good schools in all localities of the city so that a student does not have to go to a different area to study.

No matter how much the government touts the slogan of Digital Bangladesh or Smart Bangladesh, our transport system is outdated. There is no move to modernise either trains or buses. In all countries of the world, trains are considered a safe and cost effective form of transport.

Bangladesh's railway is in a pitiful predicament and is a losing concern. Online ticketing had been introduced for train passengers a few years ago but that has proved to be a failure. Only 10 per cent of the passengers can avail this facility.

When the e-ticketing system is in place in Dhaka's public transport, it is hoped that the transport owners give importance to this system. All concerned must be on alert so that no vested quarters foil the system and render it ineffective.

We want to see a public transport system in Dhaka as in a modern city. While government people call out slogans of a Smart Bangladesh, it is hardly befitting for dilapidated public transport to run on the streets of the capital city.