The automatic fare collection (AFC) gates — where passengers swipe their Metro smart cards — will now serve as recharge points too.
So even if you want to avoid a queue or do not adequate cash, all you need to do is bring your smart card near the AFC gate and it will be recharged by an amount you had already specified. The money will be deducted from your bank account through electronic clearing.
To avail this facility, all you need to do is fill up a form authorising the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to top up the smart card by a certain amount from your bank account. Once you do that, your smart card will be recharged automatically whenever the card value goes below the specified limit, said a senior signal and telecom engineer of DMRC.
The DMRC will make the software-based auto top-up system available at all its stations within a week. It has started the facility with a few stations. About 50 more stations will be covered in the next few days.
“The system is in place at several Metro stations, while the process in on at a few others. The system will be in place at a select few stations within a day,” a DMRC official said.
As HT had reported in June last year, the initial plan was to introduce the system in October 2013. But it ran into a few software glitches.
The system, which is already in use in Singapore Subway and London Tube, will be inaugurated by DMRC chief Mangu Singh. Although Delhi Metro officials refused to divulge the names of the stations where this facility will be made applicable, sources said that Central Secretariat, Noida City Centre, Yamuna Bank, Patel Chowk, Anand Vihar and Udyog Bhawan were likely to have this system.
Two of the busiest stations — Rajiv Chowk and Kashmere Gate — will not be covered in the first phase.
Over 70% Metro commuters in Delhi use smart cards for their travel. Ten million smart cards are currently in circulation.