Apprehensive about the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s (MMRDA) plan to launch an integrated ticketing smart card system for metro, monorail and BEST buses, experts want the authority to learn from its failure in the past to avoid similar mistakes.
The smart card will allow commuters to travel on the metro rail, monorail and BEST buses without waiting for tickets in a queue. The system, however, will not be connected to the railways’ ticketing system, as they haven’t responded to the MMRDA’s plan.
In 2008, the authorities had launched a similar Go Mumbai smart card scheme, which had to be scrapped in 2010.
Madhav Pai, transport expert, said, “There were issues among the agencies involved with the Go Mumbai scheme because of unequal sharing of funds collected through tickets. The system was also slow.”
“Ticketing machines were non-functional.
Authorities should install adequate number of ticketing machines,” said transport expert Sudhir Badami.
The MMRDA said necessary measures would be taken to ensure the scheme was a success. “We will come up with a plan for sharing funds. We will also get sturdy ticketing machines,” said MMRDA commissioner UPS Madan.
About the inclusion of railways, an MMRDA official, said, “We have approached the railways, but have not got any response. As it is a central authority, we have limited resources to convince them. We have approached the union ministry and the state government in this regard.”