BEST Bus Tickets Via E-Ticketing and Prepaid Smart Cards in Mumbai

“Its 2016 4G era and Purchasing bus tickets via Online Ticketing is possible by November after already upgrade to E-Ticketing system little before. So hopefully soon now before taking up bus ride, one can purchase tickets online from BEST UNDERTAKING website and alternately via their App too. Talking about E-ticketing, 2014-2015 was time when BMC’s BEST organization extended their hands with E-validator machine for automatic ticketing system in King long size AC buses for which trials are already in process. Back in 2010 and 2011, BEST had their best technology change, It was time when the traditional old manual ticket system was phased out with the launch of RFID enabled E-Ticketing system with the ETIM machines and Smart cards (Pre-Paid & Cashless) seen been used by conductors and passengers. Below are complete details on the current working ticketing system with some figures of interest and the glimpse of upcoming E-Validator machines which possibly be seen by 2015 inside closed doors AC buses..”

IMPORTANT !! : Online BEST Bus Tickets Purchase is still not implemented.

ETIM Machines For Bus Ticketing
ETIM Machines For Bus Ticketing

BEST Bus Tickets Online and Via App

If its already November 2016 and you are reading this update, Probably the Online ticketing system might be up. But as of this article update the news is that BEST is currently testing their new upcoming online fare ticketing system where one can buy the fare tickets starting the current minimum cost (i.e. Rs.8) till the maximum available for regular daily tickets, monthly passes, smart card updates and everything related to bus fare costing. I will again update this section once they launch the online ticketing system, But till then here is the little sneak peek on how it might work.

It is said that this new online system will me much more identical to the current ATVM Smart cards we use for local train journey.

Process to Purchase Bus Tickets Online and via App

  • Login to online website or start the App and select the source (boarding) and destination bus stops. Possibly via registered mobile number.
  • It will list all the buses / bus no. that matches the search.
  • GOTO E-wallet which has your balance money and request the payment deduction.
  • Upon successful deduction, You will receive a unique CODE on registered mobile which has to be shown to conductor for validation.

Current Bus E-Ticketing Smart Cards

RFID based E-Ticketing system was introduced on BEST buses on 7th Of December 2010 and by 9th February 2011 passengers travelling saw the new ticketing device called ETIM (Electronic Ticket Issuing Machine) been operated by bus conductors around city. The E-Ticketing system was in place which removed the old style ticket boxes which had bundled tickets of different values. It was a tough and quick work in crowded bus to operate that traditional ticket box calculating different variant of tickets from slots to be given to commuters along with exact change. Confronts of Conductors and passengers on buses was normal due to conductor asking for change and passengers not having.

Gone are days and here is the smart ticketing system operated at all locations covered by BEST buses in city which are Brihan Mumbai (Main City), Eastern and Western Suburbs, Navi Mumbai, Thane District and Mira-Bhayander area. Due to the huge amount needed to start up with RFID automation and E-ticketing system, BEST started the project with BOT Model (Build Operate Transfer) which helped reduce commercial load and get project moving in phases.

Some of the very important benefits of automations : Cashless transactions, Real Time Data available for decision making by BEST organization, Eco-Friendly, Saving time, hassles and cost of overall infrastructure used during old ticketing system.

Old Tickets in BEST Buses
Old Tickets in BEST Buses

Bus Passes : The internal memory chip and RF-ID based personalized bus pass smart cards contains passengers information like type of Bus Pass, Duration and date of expiry, Unique pass number, Digitized Photo ID, Name and Gender of pass holder. Till date Above 2 million smart cards have been already issued since 2010. Upon inserting this pass into the ETIM machines with conductors, tickets can be issued and other details about card can be made out. Renewal of these passed can be done at 64 point of sale and also online. About 1 million RFID cards been already in use.

Cashless Cards for E-Ticketing

New Bus Passes
New Bus Passes

Another benefit of the RFID system for passengers who do not travel daily is the alternate cashless cards which are prepaid and can be used just like the Local Train Smart Cards. The minimum refill of these cards is Rs.100/- with Maximum limit of Rs.10,000/- . A bonus of Rs.5 is automatically added on every Rs.100/- refill. Benefit of this cashless cards is obviously the time saving feature which occurs with the hurdle of getting exact change of fares. E-ticket issued is all same, and additional details about balanced amount inside this cashless card is printed along with journey details. About card recharge, Just like Pre-paid passes, refill of this cashless cards can be done at any of the 64 point of sale / online using your Credit / Debit cards.

E-Validator Smart Cards System

E-Validator Machine
E-Validator Machine

As detailed in the start, BEST is already testing the new E-Validator boxes which are currently installed in 1 or 2 buses at entry and exit points which is an advanced RFID ticketing option. Commuters has to show the card at entry point box and while exiting from bus at their destination, need to show the card again which will finally calculate the Source to Destination stops passenger commuted and deduct the exact fare, here by elimination and reducing conductors work. It is said that by 2015 this E-validator machines can be seen inside closed doors of all BEST’s AC buses.

BEST BUS Ticketing Facts

  • Daily about 40 lacs passengers travel via BEST buses inside Mumbai city.
  • About 500 buses and above 60,000 trips daily done.
  • 25 Major Bus Depots inside city.
  • 20 King Long Size AC Buses and 51 Others in Air Conditioned bus category.
  • 2500 Bus stops to be named and added to ticketing system which was a big challenge.
  • Above 9000 ETIM handy machines have been used by conductor to validate the bus passes and issue tickets.
  • ETIM machines started operated on conductors hand by 9th Feb 2011 capable of E-Ticketing, Validating and Renewal of Prepaid smart cards.
  • Current RFID system is capable of being upgraded and integrated with ‘Common Mobility Card‘ system, where a single card can be used for ticketing purpose at multiple transport modes like Metro Trains, Monorails and Local trains.

Deven Jadav

My love towards Mumbai city took me to passion blogging from hobby. Upon quitting job, now i am one of the online city & travel guide since 2007. Hope my efforts helps citizen, foreign nationals & tourists in some or other ways.

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