A number of public transport companies commuting to upcountry destinations, have acquired an internet powered ticketing system, which is described as a milestone in the transport industry.
Using this system, representatives of bus companies and ticket vendors use portable electronic machines, which work as cash registers for every ticket sold.
They print out tickets and post the copy of purchase information on the company’s server via the internet.
The system was developed by a locally based IT company, Enhance Technology.
According to Morris Bagaragara, an employee of the IT firm, the system is expected to put an end to delays encountered by passengers while buying tickets.
“In the past, tickets were sold mainly for immediate use to avoid exposure to counterfeit tickets- there was no way of storing information on tickets already purchased by passengers.
But, passengers can now book their tickets in advance for even more that ten journeys,” Bagaragara said.
He added that the passenger code, which verifies payment upon loss of the paper ticket, would protect customers from incurring double payment in case they lose their tickets.
Modeste Karangwa, a student who has already used the system appreciates it.
“You can use your ticket another day even when you cancel a journey, because the information is stored somewhere in a computer. In the past, you risked losing a ticket and losing the money when you bought it just before boarding,” Karangwa said.
The e-Ticketing precedes the envisaged online booking system that would enable passengers to pay for their tickets online through their bank accounts.
“We are working with Banque Populaire to enable their account holders to pay for their tickets through their accounts,” Bagaragara said, revealing that passengers do not have to physically book their tickets at a bus company’s offices.
The proprietor of Capital Buses, Evode Sekindi, which uses the POS-ticketing, noted that mobile money transfers, powered by telecommunication companies, will complement the online ticketing system to benefit those without bank accounts.
Three upcountry bus companies have so far acquired the e-Ticketing system; Volcano, Capital, and Virunga Express.