Namma Metro, to further help resolve urban mobility woes, is working on implementing the ambitious National Common Mobility Card system. The ‘One Nation One Card’ system, in effect, can be used to make payments for all public transport and will be linked to commuters’ bank accounts. The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has decided to introduce the common mobility card at all the 62 stations of Phase 2. BMRCL has finalised a contract worth Rs 148 crore.
With this, the BMRCL is to phase out its smart cards gradually, while helping commuters get their common mobility card. The corporation is holding talks with banks and Bengaluru One in this regard. Ajay Seth, the BMRCL managing director, told that all gates at all 62 stations in Phase 2, will be ready to accept common mobility cards and the smart cards, when inaugurated in 2022. Initially, the gates will accept both common mobility cards and smart cards. “We are in the mobility business and have to facilitate smooth people movement,” Seth said. Meanwhile, the corporation will upgrade the existing Namma Metro gates with advanced tech as well.
“Around six lakh commuters already have smart cards and we cannot expect them to switch over immediately. But, eventually, the shift should happen and we are working towards that. Talks with other transport departments are also being held,” Seth added. BMRCL has set a deadline of two years from the start of Namma Metro Phase 2, for all smart card users to switch to the common mobility card. It is planning to set up kiosks and help desks in all stations.
The corporation will gradually stop issuing smart cards so that people opt for the common mobility card instead. However, the choice will be left to the consumer, similar to what the banks are working towards. Interestingly, consumers have accepted the idea. Y G Muralidharan, founder trustee of Consumer Rights Education and Awareness Trust, said it was a good decision, as it is not right away imposed on people. “It is also not technologically possible to switch over immediately. There will be small aberrations, but people should absorb it for the larger interest of commuters. Meantime, BMRCL should ensure commuters are not burdened,” he said.