You will have to wait a little longer for a single-ticketing system for the various modes of transport in the city.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has turned down Transport for London’s (TfL) offer to prepare a detailed plan for an Integrated Ticketing System (ITS). Reason: The MMRDA said it was too expensive.
TfL is a wing of the Greater London Authority, which is credited with the launch of the Oyster card, a single-ticketing system in London. TfL was to submit a report in three months, following which the MMRDA was to invite tenders for the execution of the system.
The MMRDA has floated bids for the appointment of a consultant after the decision.
“Their offer was expensive, so we have floated the bids for consultancy in December,” said UPS Madan, metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA.
A senior MMRDA official said, “They [TfL] had quoted around Rs3 crore as fees. Apart from that, we had to pay for their team’s accommodation during the three-month period. This would have made the entire project very costly,” said the official, who did not wish to be named. The official said MMRDA is now expecting a bid offer of around Rs1 crore for the consultancy.
Interestingly, the MMRDA recently spent over Rs1.5 crore for a three-hour foundation laying ceremony of mega projects in the city. Transport experts slammed the decision and said the authorities should give priority to simple solutions that benefit the common man.
“I don’t think cost is an issue as Rs3 crore is not a huge sum for MMRDA. With competitive bidding, which is the standard practice, they might find some agency with cheaper fees, but may not be as effective,” said Sulakshana Mahajan, urban planner and transport expert.
Until now, all plans for an integrated ticketing system, which has been under discussion for more than half a decade, have hit some or the other road block with different public transport utilities failing to come to a consensus.