As much as DrukRide, the online public transport ticket booking platform is helping ease the hassles of booking bus tickets in person, it is also not glitch-free. Some users have come across situations where the tickets they booked online had already been issued to other passengers. Some of them had to be refunded but many times, this leaves the users disappointed.
When double booking of seats occurs, it is mutually solved between the passengers and the booking incharge by assigning another seat to one of the passengers when empty seats are available.
However, during summer and winter breaks when students leave for vacation, there would barely be any empty seats available making the situation complicated.
“A month ago, when I was travelling to Samdrup Jongkhar, I booked a ticket online but I had to face so many issues. The seat I booked online was already occupied by another person when I reached the bus station. Sometimes the drivers say, they would adjust a seat and take us along but in my case, I was told that the amount would be refunded,” said Mohan Kumar Tamang, a passenger.
“During the school vacations, we face this problem. However, on other days, most of the buses are empty, so even if there are double ticket issues, we can assign them another seat. But during the vacations, it’s a bit hard to settle such issues. If they are in a hurry, we take them in the extra seat,” said Wangchuk, another passenger.
When people book a ticket online, an SMS is sent to the passenger and also to the booking incharge. The booking in charge is responsible for not selling the tickets that have been booked online. Besides, the incharge is also responsible for blocking the seat online if they issue the ticket to a passenger.
“This kind of problem usually comes when they use the web version of DrukRide, but we do not get the message notification that the seat is booked. Sometimes when we issue physical tickets, we are not able to block the seat online. That’s how the double ticket problem arises,” said Sangay Dema, booking incharge at Lungtenzampa bus station.
According to DrukRide, although the system is made by them, it is operated by the booking incharges.
“The system is not solely Druk Rides. Many things are involved in the system. For instance, for SMS we depend on Bhutan Telecom and Tashi Cell. Sometimes when their server is down, the particular counter personnel doesn’t receive the confirmation SMS. But even if they don’t receive the SMS, they have a system with them and they can check the ticket details from the back end,” said Jigme Thinley Yoezer Rinzin, CEO of DrukRide.
However, as the company is aware of the problem, they are going to upgrade their system next month. The company is also planning to talk with the Bhutan Construction and Transport Authority soon to create an efficient ticketing system with regulations.
There are close to 400 buses and 50,000 users registered on the platform as of now. It was launched seven years ago.
Edited by Kipchu