Come October, you will be able to use your Delhi Metro smartcard to travel cash-less in city buses, easing last-mile connectivity, a problem that has dogged the Capital’s transport system for years.
The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) has conducted the first successful transaction using a Delhi metro smartcard in an electronic ticketing machine (ETM) installed inside a city bus.
“It is likely that in next two months, users of public transport in Delhi will be able to use a common mobility card in buses as well as the Metro,” said RS Minhas, DTC spokesperson.
Officials say 70% of the DTC fleet already has ETMs installed and the rest should have it by mid-October, when the integrated travel scheme is likely to be launched.
Once operational, the scheme will cover 4,000 DTC buses and 1,100 orange cluster buses that are run under a private-public arrangement.
“The idea is to have a prepaid service where people using any public transport will not have to use cash and can pay through one card,” said a government official.
Authorities will also open recharge centres across the city.
A common ridership card is the norm in many developed cities such as London and Hong Kong, where they help commuters travel seamlessly across different forms of transport without the inconvenience of cash transactions or procuring different cards.
Over the past decade, authorities launched feeder bus services but such efforts have remained small-scale and sporadic.
Once the new scheme is launched in October, the transport department will start working towards a common mobility card to integrate payments for cabs, autos and parking.
Conceptualised during the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) launched the common mobility card for Metro trains and few certain DMRC-run feeder buses in 2012. A year before that ‘MORE Delhi’, a common mobility card, was launched but the project didn’t take off.