Chennai Metro Rail testing Smart Cards on MTC Handheld Devices

CHENNAI: After years of talking about it, the Chennai Metro Rail has started carrying out trials with its smart cards in the handheld electronic ticketing machines of the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) buses. This means, in the near future, when the common ticketing system is implemented, commuters can use the Chennai Metro Rail’s smart cards in MTC buses too.

According to officials in the Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL), they have been testing the smart cards in the handheld devices for several months now.

“It has been working quite well and whatever minor issues that have cropped up have being resolved. We will discuss further on how common ticketing system can be implemented soon,” an official said.

The Chennai Metro Rail’s smart card has 30 slots, which means apart from the one slot that will be used for MTC buses, it can be used at various places such as retail stores or parking lots.

The idea is to make sure that commuters need to carry just one card that can be used anywhere, officials said.

Delayed for years

But it is not clear why common ticketing system has been delayed for years now. The first service of the Chennai Metro Rail started three years ago, but this system has till now not taken off. In two weeks, the fourth and fifth stretch of the Chennai Metro Rail from Nehru Park to Chennai Central and Saidapet to AG-DMS too will begin.

And when operations start in these stretches, officials said, the number of people travelling will go up, but it is crucial that CMRL executes common ticketing system at the earliest to make it easier for commuters.

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