Soon you may be able to use your Metro passes to park your vehicle at the Metro stations, buy food from its restaurants and commute as well.
Delhi Metro plans to issue multi-purpose smart cards, similar to bank debit cards that a commuter can use to avail of its various facilities.
"Delhi Metro wants to provide all possible facilities to its commuters. A card modelled on the line of a bank debit card is just a step in that direction," said Anuj Dayal, Chief Spokesperson of Delhi Metro Rail Corp (DMRC).
"We will improve upon the present chip inside the metro pass, which will enable travellers' parking, eating and commuting facility without any hassles," Dayal told IANS.
The commuter can swap the card in dedicated machines at eateries and parking areas of metro stations. A 'common clearing house' like a main server would be set up to calculate the share of revenues among the parties concerned, Dayal explained.
Apart from upgrading the electronic chip in existing passes, DMRC will issue new metro passes with all these inbuilt facilities too. The new initiative, Dayal hopes, will be in place by the year-end.
"Currently, we have a base of 460,000 pass holders and nearly 170,000 use them every day," Dayal noted. He added that the new initiative would generate huge revenues once the second phase becomes fully functional.
Delhi Metro ferries nearly 525,000 passengers a day. Covering a 65-km network, 64 trains of DMRC transport commuters from six in the morning till midnight.
Of the 130 metro rail systems in the world, only five metro rail networks are earning profits and Delhi Metro is one among them.
"We are one of the five metro networks in the world running on profit. Every day we earn nearly Rs. 6 million from passengers' tickets and over 20 percent more revenue through our property development initiatives and advertisements," Dayal added.
"In the second phase we are covering a network of 118.5 km that include lines to Noida and Gurgaon. You can imagine the usage of this initiative in a network of nearly 185 km," Dayal said, adding that all lines of Phase-II would become functional before September 2010.
The official said that DMRC was also studying the option of using these smart cards in their feeder buses too.
"Our engineers are working over it and if they succeed it would be a bonus point for passengers. The centralised revenue system will also help DMRC."
Delhi Metro has decided to purchase 60 feeder buses to run on 36 routes to make the metro stations easily accessible to commuters from far-off places in and around the capital. The buses would be fitted with the Global Positioning System (GPS) and be handed over to private operators for running them.