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Common mobility card to boost Delhi’s dying bus system

Delhi government is starting a month-long trial to shift to a Common Mobility Card which can be used to travel in Metro, DTC buses and cluster buses. After its launch, Delhi will be the first city in India to introduce an e-purse travel system

delhi Updated: Jan 04, 2018 13:21 IST
Sweta Goswami
Sweta Goswami
Hindustan Times
DTC buses,common mobility card,Metro card
The facility that will be available in 200 Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and 50 cluster buses will enable a commuter to swipe his/her metro card in a bus to pay for the ride.(Arun Sharma/ HT File)

Commuters travelling between Mori Gate and Mayur Vihar Phase III, Jahangirpuri and Anand Vihar, Mukherjee Nagar and Inderpuri will be among the first to get to use their Metro smart cards for paying for a bus ride in the city.

After being planned for over three years, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal is going to launch the common mobility card service on Monday. The facility that will be available in 200 Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and 50 cluster buses will enable a commuter to swipe his/her metro card in a bus to pay for the ride.

DTC officials said that the ticketing process will remain the same for passengers. “The bus conductor will have to press the number 7 on the electronic ticketing machine to activate the smart card reader. Then, he will have to tap the Metro smart card on the device and the fare would be deducted automatically,” the official said.

A paper ticket showing the serial number of the smart card and the remaining balance in the card will be given to the passenger.

First in India

Once it is launched, Delhi will be the first city in India to introduce an e-purse travel system that would perform transactions as low as Rs 5.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, transport minister Kailash Gahlot said that the government has set a target of March 31 to introduce the common mobility card service in all its 5,421 buses by March 31.

“This is being done just at an incremental cost. Both DTC and cluster buses already had ETMs. We had to procure Secure Access Modules (SAMs) chips to turn the same devices into Metro card readers,” Gahlot said.

The SAM chips are being imported from South Korea and it is costing the government Rs 2,000 per bus.

More takers for buses

Calling it a milestone in urban mobility, the minister hoped that the common mobility cards would increase ridership of Delhi’s buses.

“There are 13 lakh active Metro smart card users in Delhi. We hope that a good number of them would also now take buses for their daily commute. The new system will save a lot of time for passengers,” he said.

The ridership of DTC buses have come down to 30 lakh from over 45 lakh in just a span of three years. Officials said that once the service is launched people will get to buy and recharge their metro smart cards at DTC’s offices as well.

Future plans

In the later stages, the government plans to expand the service to Metro feeder buses as well. “Once this is successful, we will extend it to Metro feeder buses and for cycle sharing services,” a transport official said.

The contactless smart card system is already popular in cities around the world. The most popular among them are Hong Kong’s Octopus card, London’s Oyster card and Japan’s Suica card which not only serve buses and the Metro but are also acceptable payment modes in retail shops.

First Published: Jan 03, 2018 23:56 IST