Kochi: Kochi Metro Rail Ltd has invited request for proposal (RFP) for QR Code ticketing and Open Ticketing Bus Platform for KMRL. The last date for submission of RFP is April 4. Open Ticketing Bus (OTB) system is a technology platform for QR code enabled identification using mobile handsets. The ‘bus’ is a nomenclature used for the communication architecture between computing devices.
The system would enable people to remotely book tickets for family members or friends without buying a paper ticket manually from the metro station. The QR code displayed in the mobile screen can be shown to an AFC reader and facilitate entry to the metro. The same facility can be extended to city buses, autos and water metro. If everything goes right Kochi will become the first city in the country to have an OTB platform for availing all modes of public transport services. Although the technological capability of the OTB platform has been proven effective in places like cinema hall and multiplexes its effectiveness in a metro system needed to be ascertained. A regular commuter using the metro services may find it cumbersome to show the QR code in the mobile before an AFC reader in a metro station teeming with hundreds of passengers.
In a cinema hall the number of persons will be quite limited compared with a busy metro station, said Ebenezer Chullikkat of the city-based advocacy group Greater Cochin Development Watch. “If the KMRL authorities are really concerned about eliminating paper tickets then they should opt for a smart card system”, he said.
At present nearly 80 percent of metro commuters are using paper tickets and success of the OTB system will depend largely on people migrating to the new system.