Clamor grows for QR code-based payment mode in public transport

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Srinagar: Clamor is growing for QR code-based payment system in public transport.

For many people, the daily struggle to secure exact change or coins for public transportation fares remains an ongoing challenge in Kashmir Valley. Whether rushing to catch a bus, auto-rickshaw, or cab, the inconvenience of fumbling for cash leads to delays and missed connections, exacerbating the stress of daily travel.

“I often find myself in a rush to catch the bus, only to realize that I don’t have the exact change. It’s frustrating to see the bus drive away just because I couldn’t find coins in time. QR codes would make things so much easier,” said Umair, a resident of Chanpora.

His sentiment echoes across the valley, resonating with frequent travelers who grapple with similar challenges. The issue extends beyond mere inconvenience, as highlighted by frequent travelers who encounter obstacles in receiving change, particularly on buses where drivers may not always have adequate change on hand.

“Getting change on the bus is like winning the lottery sometimes. There have been numerous occasions where I have paid a larger amount, only to be told by the driver that they don’t have enough change. It’s a real hassle. In today’s fast-paced world, people rely on the convenience of digital transactions for everything from shopping to dining. Public transportation should be no exception. QR should be made mandatory on every public transport,” said Hadia, a resident of Soura.

Proponents of QR code integration envision a future where people can simply scan a code displayed at ticket counters or on vehicles to instantly pay for their fare, eliminating the need for physical currency altogether

Speaking with The Kashmir Monitor, Syed Shahnawaz Bukhari, Regional Transport Officer, acknowledged the pressing need for innovation in the public transport system.

“We are doing significant work towards integrating QR code payment systems into our passenger commercial vehicles. Recognizing the importance of catering to the needs of our passengers, we have initiated discussions with J&K Bank at the local level to kickstart this endeavor in because in Kashmir people predominantly use J&K bank services,” he said.

Shahnawaz emphasized the collaborative efforts underway to streamline the adoption of QR code technology. “We plan to begin with J&K Bank and gradually include other banks as well, We cannot bind the drivers for installing the QR codes, but we will try to persuade them to install it. After tying up with the banks, we will ensure its implementation across the valley,” he said.