India has finally joined the league of the UK, US, Hong Kong and Japan among others in providing inter-operable transport facilities to commuters, albeit on a smaller scale.
The urban development ministry on Saturday launched the country's first common mobility card in Delhi.
Named 'More Card', it will initially cater to a few thousand commuters only as it would now provide interoperable facilities between Metro and 10 feeder buses that ply on the route connecting Shastri Park and Mayur Vihar Phase 3 Metro stations covering areas such as Akshardham, Mayur Vihar Phase I and Vasundhara Enclave.
The card will be available at all Metro stations. The existing Metro smart card users however, can continue to use their existing cards as More Cards. Metro officials have no plans to withdraw the smart cards.
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), however, is also working on further upgrading the smart cards after which commuters will be able to get their cards recharged automatically by using their credit or debit cards at specially designed machines. These machines will be installed at all Metro stations.
The UD ministry had announced the launch of a nationwide interoperable transport card in December 2011.
"The card can also be used to pay the parking fare at Metro stations as well," said Mangu Singh, managing director, DMRC. By year-end, this card will be operational in all the feeder routes, he said.
Sudhir Krishna, chairman DMRC and also UD secretary, who formally launched the card, said the same card will soon be functional in DTC buses, cluster buses, airport Metro express, taxis, Rapid Metro of Gurgaon and HoHo buses soon.
"In the next phase, we will make this functional in public transport in other major cities," he said.