Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Tuesday launched the automatic fare collection system in the Dwarka circular bus service. The initiative is aimed at promoting seamless travel in the city that would one day allow use of a common smart card for travel in buses, metro railway and maybe even taxis.

Lauding the initiative, Ms. Dikshit said it would make travel comfortable for commuters as they would not have to buy a ticket from the conductor every time and therefore the hassle of cash and change would be eliminated.

The Chief Minister said while the new system has been introduced as a pilot project, it will soon be extended to other buses and integrated with the metro railway. The Delhi Government, she informed, has also reviewed the Bus Rapid Transit lane system keeping in view suggestions received from the public and now it has been given the shape of a convenient system to ensure lane discipline on roads and to ensure that different kinds of vehicles ply side-by-side.

Delhi Transport Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely said the smart card is based on latest technology as it would be able to complete a transaction in 300th of a second. The DTC, he said, has decided to install 20,000 smart card machines in its 10,000 buses in future. In this system, passengers can use smart cards for payment of fare in these buses. These cards can be purchased from conductors by paying Rs.100 (which will include security deposit of Rs.50).

As in Delhi Metro, passengers will just need to touch their cards on the validator at the time of entry and exit in the bus and the fare will be automatically deducted on the basis of the distance travelled. The cards would be recharged by the conductors in slabs of Rs.50.

The new automatic fare collection system has been developed by Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS) Ltd. It was the Transport Department that had mandated DIMTS with the task so that a common smart card could be used in various public transport modes and possibly in para-transit services too like taxis and parking.

This pilot project – that covers all six DTC low-floor buses on Dwarka circular service – is aimed at helping understand the functioning of the system as well as gauge the response of commuters and conductors to identify any issue so that the same may be resolved before the full-fledged implementation across different public transport modes in Delhi takes place.

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