The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) is contemplating allowing companies, industrial units and IT Parks to purchase metro smart cards in bulk as a promotional activity to increase metro ridership in future. The passes that are going to used by the employees of the companies will be co-branded with Namma Metro and the companies purchasing the smart cards.
The BMRCL is all set to open 13 km of the Whitefield metro line from Krishnarajapura, an extension of the purple line built under Phase II of Namma Metro. The remaining stretch of the line for 2 km from Baiyappanahalli to Krishnarajapura will be opened mid-year. On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the line. The commercial operations of the line will start from March 26.
With the opening of the new line, the BMRCL will have an operational metro line of 69.66 km with 63 metro stations. After Delhi Metro, Bengaluru will have the second largest operational metro network in the country.
BMRCL Managing Director Anjum Parwez told The Hindu that the move is aimed at professionals and techies working in various IT parks and companies to ditch their personal vehicles and shift to the public transport system. “During a meeting with Outer Ring Road Companies’ Association (ORRCA), a suggestion came from representatives of companies in this regard. We are contemplating providing smart cards in bulk to the management of the companies. They in turn provide cards to their employees for free. Whatever standard discount rate is applicable for users of smart cards at present will also be applicable to these cards.”
He added that the BMRCL will facilitate top-up or recharging of the smart cards. “It is up to the management of the companies to decide on how much top-up they want to do. They can give metro travel allowance or use other modes to encourage employees to travel by metro. As smart cards are transferable, when an employee resigns, the card can be used by the new employee. As of now, we held one round of meetings on this initiative. Once we finalise everything, we will reach out to the management of the companies.”
In the past, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) too tied up with IT parks and companies to promote their Vajra AC services by issuing monthly passes in bulk.
The BMRCL is estimating that opening the entire Whitefield Metro line would increase the ridership by 2.5 to 3 lakh per day. There are multiple tech parks, industrial hubs and residential areas located along the line.
Under Phase II of Namma Metro project, the BMRCL is connecting two IT corridors in the city: one is extending the purple line till Whitefield, the other one is building a new line from R.V. Road to Bommsandra. Under Phase III, the metro is building the ORR-Airport line (from Central Silk Board to Kempegowda International Airport) that also passes through an IT Corridor on Outer Ring Road.