Namma Metro for hassle-free commute, SBI to offer financial solutions
You need not worry about recharging or topping up the contact-less smart card (CSC) for your daily commute on Namma Metro after it becomes operation on Reach 1 between Byappanahalli and M.G. Road.
The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) is making all efforts to ensure a hassle-free commute by rolling out commuter-friendly recharge options.
You can simply visit the neighbourhood mobile services retail shop and get your smart card recharged or topped up just like you get your mobile phone recharged or topped up, is what the BMRCL officials say.
The BMRCL has already appointed the State Bank of India as its acquirer bank to provide different financial solutions.
Those who have SBI accounts can easily recharge or top up their smart cards either through net banking or through ATM centres.
The SBI could also issue a new combo card to its customers which can act as an ATM card as well as travel card. The smart cards can also be recharged at the Namma Metro ticket counters.
The contactless smart cards offer discounted fares for passengers and come in two kinds — Varshik to perform multiple journeys between any station, and Sanchar for fixed number of trips between two particular stations. Passengers can buy the CSC at Rs. 50 and can load either Varshik or Sanchar or both on it. For Varshik, a passenger can load maximum of Rs. 1,500 in multiples of Rs. 50; the CSC will be valid for one year from the date of last “add value”.
Apart from metro stations, values can be added through ATMs, net banking and mobile banking of SBI; Bangalore Metro website and scratch cards through SMS.
However, BMRCL thought that a commuter even without a net banking account or a debit card should have an easy option to recharge or top up the card. Besides enhancing the comfort level of the commuter, this will also bring in more number of people from sections of society who don't have sophisticated banking facilities.
Hence, it thought of offering the mobile recharge facility wherein a commuter visits the retailer, pays the required amount and gets the recharge done. All he has to do is to give the money and the 11 digit smart card number to the retailer. After the recharge is done, the retailer as well as the commuter will get message from BMRCL server that the card has been recharged/ topped up to the required amount.
BMRCL is in the process of selecting a mobile service provider which has large presence in the State as well as in Bangalore to provide this facility.
The service provider will also have to indicate how a commuter, who does not even have a mobile phone, get communication about the recharge/ top up of his card.
Initially however, only those having mobile phones could get this facility after registering their mobile numbers the card number with the BMRCL server. Any number of smart cards could be registered for one mobile phone, BMRCL said.
Continuing the trial tests on the ‘down track' of Reach 1, Bangalore Metro on Wednesday conducted full load trial by loading sand bags into the metro coaches. The test was conducted at different speeds to test the response of the track as well as coaches to the speed and load, BMRCL spokesperson said. The trial tests on the ‘up track' could start after March 14, he added.
ANIL KUMAR SASTRY