In a significant stride toward enhancing the travel experience for women in Karnataka, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has implemented a digital solution that allows women passengers to avail themselves of the Shakti scheme without the need for physical ID copies. This transformative move is aimed at simplifying the process and making public transportation more accessible and convenient for women in the state.
Under the Shakti scheme, women can now travel in state government buses by presenting their local domicile proof digitally on their mobile phones through the Digilocker app. This innovative approach eliminates the earlier requirement for women to carry hard copies of their IDs, whether original or photocopies, streamlining the boarding process and reducing potential hassles.
The convenience offered by this digital solution comes as a response to repeated complaints from women passengers across various transport corporations, including Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), Kalyana Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (KKRTC), and North West Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC). These passengers had raised concerns about conductors insisting on ticket purchases if they failed to carry physical ID copies.
Dhana Lakshmi, a regular KSRTC passenger, shed light on the challenges faced by women travelers, stating, “Though there is a provision for women passengers to produce their IDs through the Digilocker app, many conductors were rejecting it and were insisting on hard copies. We had to keep the ID cards in the back case of our mobile phones as conductors would be in a hurry to verify the IDs and then issue zero tickets.”
The implementation of this digital solution not only addresses the concerns raised by passengers like Dhana Lakshmi but also aligns with the broader objectives of the Shakti scheme. The scheme, designed to empower women in public transportation, seeks to eliminate barriers and create a more inclusive and comfortable environment for women travelers.
By leveraging the Digilocker app for digital verification, the KSRTC is taking a step toward modernizing and digitizing its processes. This transition aligns with the larger trend of embracing technology to improve efficiency and enhance user experience in public services.
The move also reflects a commitment to gender inclusivity in public transportation. Women, who may face challenges carrying physical IDs or encounter difficulties in producing them promptly during ticket checks, can now benefit from a seamless digital verification process. This not only simplifies travel logistics but also contributes to a safer and more convenient commuting experience for women across the state.
In addition to the immediate benefits for passengers, the adoption of digital verification methods contributes to a more sustainable and eco-friendly transportation system. The reduction of paper usage for physical ID copies aligns with environmental conservation efforts and supports the broader goal of creating greener and more sustainable public services.
As the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) embraces this digital transformation, it sets a positive precedent for other state transportation authorities. The successful implementation of the digital solution under the Shakti scheme serves as a model for leveraging technology to address common challenges in public transportation, ultimately benefiting commuters and contributing to the advancement of transportation services in the state.