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PM launches Rapid Pass Card to ease bus fare payment
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday inaugurated Rapid Pass Card activities, the first of its kind in the country, to enable commuters to pay fares while travelling by BRTC bus through a smartcard.
The Prime Minister inaugurated the Rapid Pass activities at Kamalapur Bus Depot through a videoconference from her official residence Ganobhaban.
The use of such card will be introduced for other modes of vehicles in phases, officials said.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said the government introduced such a modern and electronic system to ease the payment of bus fare avoiding the hassles of payment in cash.
Sheikh Hasina directed all concerned to work with sincerity and ensure better services for passengers.
With the inauguration of the Rapid Pass Card, she said, Bangladesh entered a modern era in terms of using the latest technology and added that this card can be used in the future in paying utility bills like that of electricity and water.
The Prime Minister thanked the Japanese government and JICA for their support in this regard and said Japan extended massive support in constructing big infrastructures and development of the country.
The friendly country is also extending its support with grants for building Metro Rail in Dhaka as well as many other infrastructures, she said.
This project will fully be implemented by June 2018 at a cost of Tk 39 crore that will ensure facilities for travellers like those available in the developed world.
Primarily, 60,000 Rapid Passes developed in Japan involving electronic chips and security as well as necessary server, handy device, RAM and other equipment have been procured, while Dutch Bangla Bank has been given to work as the clearing House Bank to this end.
The price of each Rapid Pass card has primarily been fixed at Tk 400 of which Tk 200 will be the primary recharge while the rest the deposit money.
Interested persons can purchase Rapid Pass Cards from eight different locations in the capital, including Motijheel, Shahbagh, Banani, Natun Bazar of Gulshan, Gulshan-2, Gulshan Shooting Club, and Uttara House Building, and the users could also recharge their cards at the same locations.
The Prime Minister also talked to BRTC Chairman Kabir Ahmad Bhuiyan and a number of passengers of a BRTC bus at Kamalpur BRTC Bus Depot through the videoconference.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Qader, Chief of Army Staff General Abu Belal Mohammad Shafiul Haq and Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Masato Watanabe were present at Ganobhaban on the occasion.
Currently, the passengers can avail themselves of the opportunity of Rapid Pass Card while traveling by BTRC bus running on Motijheel-Abdullapur and Motijheel-Nabinagar routes.