Smriti Kak Ramachandran

NEW DELHI: The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation is offering smart card holders another incentive. They will now have special gates reserved for entry and exit.

The DMRC on Wednesday announced that it would install special steel-framed gates near select automatic fare collection (AFC) gates of the metro rail stations to specifically demarcate those gates only for smart card users.

“The step was taken after feedback received from smart card users that they were getting unnecessarily delayed at the entry and exit points because the token users (mostly irregular or first-time users) were taking more time to enter or exit from the system using tokens,” said a DMRC spokesperson.

A first one at Barakhamba Road

The first such seven-foot-long steel-framed gate has already been installed at the Barakhamba Road metro station on a trial basis. The gate will allow smart card users faster exit and entry into the metro system.

The token users will be able to use the remaining gates for exiting from the system.

“Two more such gates are planned at the Rajiv Chowk station. The traffic movement of other stations is being closely studied to decide whether such gates are needed at other stations also,” the spokesperson said, adding: “If at a metro station more than 60 per cent of the commuters are smart card users then this option can be explored. At present, about 55 per cent of metro commuters are smart card users.”

Encourage use of smart card

This step is also expected to encourage the commuters further to use smart cards as their use will ensure smoother entry and exit from the metro system.

Smart cards users get a 10 per cent discount on the fares and also need not stand in long queues at the token counters. There is no risk of paying any penalty for travelling beyond the authorized distance either as is the case with tokens.

“Delhi Metro also offers tourist smart cards for the tourists who visit the city. These cards, priced moderately at Rs.100 and Rs.250, are valid for unlimited travel on the metro system, for one day and three days, respectively,” the spokesperson said.