India – More than half of Metro commuters use smartcards

By | May 16, 2018

BENGALURU: Namma Metro commuters are going smart. Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) statistics show around 60% of those travelling on Purple Line (Byappanahalli-Mysuru Road) and 51% on Green Line (Nagasandra-Yelachenahalli) are using smartcards.
With BMRCL providing patrons a 15% discount on fares, more passengers now prefer cards over tokens. While the number of travellers using smartcards on Purple Line has increased from 15% in 2012 to 59% at present, it has surged from 23% in 2015 to 51% for Green Line. Namma Metro sees a daily ridership of 3.55 lakh passengers — 1.90 lakh on Purple Line and 1.65 lakh on Green Line.

BMRCL managing director Mahendra Jain said the number of takers is expected to go up further, particularly after the expansion of the Metro network. “Compared to other cities, Bengaluru has more Metro passengers who use smartcards,” he said, adding: “The facility entitles users to a discount and reduces paper work for our staff. It is quicker, transparent, more efficient and less vulnerable to pilferage.”

Commuters say Metro cards facilitate a hassle-free ride. “It spares us the trouble of standing in long queues for tokens. It will be more beneficial if the same card can be used on Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses as well. The authorities should allow us to use smartcards in feeder buses at least,” said Anil Kumar, a regular Metro user.

BMTC officials said they are open to integration, provided that BMRCL is willing to come on board. “We are ready to accept Metro cards in our buses. We have communicated the same to BMTC but are hear from them,” said a senior BMTC official.

In the country’s capital, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has recently converted around 50% of the existing Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) exit gates to ‘card-only’ exit gates to benefit smartcard users.

BMRCL staff said though most regular travellers use smartcards, relatively new passengers purchases tokens. They also admitted to several instances of minor errors and delays in exit, which lead to congestion. However, BMRCL officials said they don’t have plans of introducing separate exit gates for smartcard users but will consider the idea after expansion of Phase 2.

Source: Times of India