Common mobility card for Bengaluru Metro and bus services from January 1

Four automatic fare collection machines are likely to be introduced at Baiyappanahalli and Majestic stations.

Four automatic fare collection machines are likely to be introduced at Baiyappanahalli and Majestic stations.   | Photo Credit: K_MURALI_KUMAR

BMRCL to test automatic fare collection machines at Baiyappanahalli and Majestic stations

A common card for the Namma Metro and the BMTC bus services may be a reality soon. The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) is likely to introduce a common mobility card from January 1, 2020 on a pilot basis.

Ajay Seth, Managing Director, BMRCL told The Hindu that they are working with Bharat Electronics Limited and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) for installation and testing of four automatic fare collection (AFC) machines. The four AFC gates are likely to be introduced at Baiyappanahalli and Majestic intersection stations.

Mr. Seth said, “For this pilot, cards issued by the State Bank of India (SBI) will be used. The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is also taking steps to use sufficient number of hand-held machines for use of cards.”

The pilot will use an open loop card that helps passengers use the card for other transactions as well.

As part of its Intelligent Transport System, in June 2017, the BMTC had launched a smart card service for commuters. However, it could not introduce the service on a large scale due to various issues.

A common mobility cards for hassle-free travel has been a long-standing demand of commuters.

When the BMRCL had started commercial operations in October 2011, both the BMRCL and BMTC had introduced combo tickets for passengers. However, poor response from passengers forced the BMTC to stop issuance of the tickets after a couple of months.

Demand for a common mobility card increased after the BMRCL launched full- fledged operations of Phase I of Namma Metro in June 2017. The ridership of passengers of Namma Metro gradually increased thereafter. On certain days, the ridership even crossed 4.5 lakh. For close to nine years, the BMRCL has been issuing closed loop cards for its commuters that cannot be used for commuting in buses.

Introduction of common cards will help passengers in a big way. At present, passengers are using either daily tickets or passes to travel in buses and using metro cards or tokens to travel in the Namma Metro.

BMTC MD C. Shikha said, “BMTC and BMRCL officials have held several rounds of meetings on introducing a common card. In the coming days, a decision will be taken on how to introduce the facility.”

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 3:20:16 PM |

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