Using the bus services for inner city transportation is an everyday routine for most everyday people in the United Kingdom due to some of its key advantages such as flexibility and a primary advantage which is a fairly cheaper fare rate as compared to other forms of road transport. Using the bus however requires the purchase of tickets often issued in paper form. The susceptibility of these paper tickets to loss, damages, transfer between individuals (though not transferable), modification and hence, forgery thereby exists in a moderately high percentage. Also the designated driver of every bus alongside driving the bus, has the final responsibility of making sure each passenger boarding a bus has a valid bus ticket which is usually done by mere visual checks. The lapses with these visual checks would result in passengers successfully embarking on a journey without paying the recommended fare. An estimated loss on Bus passenger journey has been recorded in the previous years although in March 2015, there was an estimate of 5.16billion bus passenger journey that decreased by 0.6% as compared to the previous years and by December 2015 the number of local bus passenger in England had become 4.57billion with a 92.0% decrease. However this loss has not been confirmed to be caused by the use of fake bus tickets.
This proposal for the introduction of the Biometric Bus Ticket (B-Ticket) will see that such lapses are thoroughly covered and that losses are hugely minimized in the bus transport sector. While we might not hurriedly deny that mobile applications have been developed for purchase of bus tickets online as well as to check for bus travel times e.g. Arriva m-ticket, Nottingham City Travel etc., we cannot seize to mention that none of them has properly addressed the issue of losses, forgery and damages amongst others.
HOW DOES B-TICKET WORK?
B-Ticket will comprise of high-speed bio-metric devices located at Bus Company offices and similar devices installed on the buses. All the individual needs to do is walk into a designated office, make a payment, and register two fingers (preferably right thumb and right index finger). The value for the purchase is logged into the Bus Company’s database and the registered fingers prints will remain valid for bus travels until expiry. The database will also be remotely available and accessible to all active buses via a designated program. When the individual boards a bus, he/she will simply place any one of the registered fingers on the bio-metric scanner in the bus, which will signal and inform the driver (by flashing signal lights Green or Red) if they are permitted to travel. B-Ticket will successfully eliminate the use of paper tickets as well as the setbacks associated with them.
WHY IT SHOULD BE IMPLEMENTED!
B-Ticket will bring about an all-round advantage to everyone who uses it. For the bus drivers, B-Ticket will introduce speed and ease to ticket checks and will ensure nobody boards a bus without paying the full fare. For passengers it can neither be stolen, lost nor damaged, and also eliminates the hassle of keeping up with a tiny piece of paper ticket in a bulk bag of other everyday paraphernalia. It will also help the Bus Company keep more accurate numeric records on issues such as customer base, ticket sales and income. The bio-metric scan could also be used as a source of information in updating the central database of citizens such as house address, work address, phone number and email addresses for use in tackling crime.
This innovation does not serve as a means to an end as there will be continuous research on it and useful updates will be provided as often as possible.