Common smart-card soon for public transport in Mumbai

With the Mumabi’s first Metro and Monorail projects expected to roll out this year, the city’s development authority MMRDA has revived its three-year-old plan of providing a seamless travel using a common smart-card based ticket on both modes of transport. While BEST has agreed in principle to be part of the initiative, efforts are no to rope in suburban railways, too.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has instructed the automatic fare collection vendor for the Metro and monorail to start linking both the systems. Spanish firm Indra is setting up the fare collection technology for the mass transit systems.

“We were waiting for the union government’s plan of a common mobility card to take off, but that is taking longer than expected so we decided to roll out a common smart card for our monorail and Metro lines at least. We have also invited BEST and the railways to join us. BEST has in-principle agreed, but we will need to work out the details,” said UPS Madan, metropolitan commissioner at MMRDA.

A senior MMRDA official said it was easily possible to link the fare collection systems as they are based on the same technology and are being installed by the same vendor.

“We have instructed the vendor to start the process of linking the automatic fare collection system of the two modes of transport. We are aiming to have the integrated ticketing system running before the Metro and monorail corridors are commissioned,” she said.

With a common smart card, commuters will not need to wait in a queue to buy tokens. They will be able to swipe the card at the gate to the platform.

Ashok Datar, a city-based transport expert, said, “Although it may not be helpful to commuters immediately as the two corridors are not connected, it is a small beginning to a good concept. A seamless traveling card will be very helpful once more Metro and monorail corridors are commissioned and the card is linked to other modes of transport.”