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20,000 smart cards sold for metro ride

Staff Reporter
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Nearly 3,000 tickets sold online, says BMRCL

With Namma Metro launch scheduled for Thursday, smart card sales for metro rides have gained momentum.

“Of the two lakh cards available for sale in the stations, around 20,000 cards have been sold,” said U.A. Vasanth Rao, General Manager (Finance), Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL)., Nearly 3,000 tickets were sold online, he added.

And with around 50,000 people expected to travel daily when Reach 1 becomes operational Mr. Rao said, “We expect the sales of cards and tokens to increase drastically after the launch.”

Each card has a unique 11 digit number engraved on it, and needs only to be tapped on the entry gate and the fare would be automatically deducted when tapped at the exit gate.

“In online tickets, we give the option of choosing the digits of the 11-digit number. This way, the card can be personalised to include telephone numbers or birthdays or such,” said Mr. Rao. Though admitting that the use is only numerological, these “premium” cards will cost up to Rs. 200.

Another advantage for online buyers is that they can, in the near future, block their cards when stolen or lost, to prevent misuse. “We will also check the possibility of offering a refund for lost or tickets that are reported stolen,” he said.

Now, only the Varshik ticket is available. Priced Rs. 100, the smart card can then be recharged from Rs. 50 to up to Rs. 1,500. It has a one-year validity, with a 15-per cent discount on travel fares.

Officials at the MG Road station said that more than 30 Varshik tickets were sold per day since sales started on September 2. There has been an increase in sales after the launch date was announced, the official added.

The Sanchar, the Saral and the Saraag cards will be available at the stations only after October 20. A Sanchar card is based on number of trips needed, with the card being available in denominations of Rs. 10, Rs. 40, Rs. 50 and Rs. 100.

Saral and Saraag cards will integrate metro travel with Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) bus travel. Saral cards, priced Rs. 70, will allow a day's travel in non-air conditioned buses and the metro. Saraag, priced Rs. 110, allows commuters to travel in city AC buses and the metro for one day.

Apart from the cards, a ticketing machine would be installed before the inauguration, with fares ranging from a minimum of Rs. 10 to Rs. 15 to traverse the whole of Reach 1.

“These are electronic tokens and are recyclable. The commuter drops it when he exits a station, and this is recycled,” said Mr. Rao.

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