From August 24, swipe your Metro card to pay for all bus rides in Delhi
To use the facility, a passenger will have to furnish her metro smart card to the bus conductor and the fare will be automatically deducted after the card is swiped.Updated: Aug 21, 2018 08:35 IST
From August 24, passengers of Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and cluster buses will be able to use their metro smart cards to pay for their bus rides in Delhi, transport minister Kailash Gahlot said on Monday.
The date for the soft launch of the ‘common mobility card’ project has finally been fixed after a delay of nearly five months. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced in January this year that electronic payment of fares through metro cards would be launched in all 5,500 buses of Delhi by April 1.
To use the facility, a passenger will have to furnish her metro smart card to the bus conductor and the fare will be automatically deducted after the card is swiped.
The transport minister said he held a high-level meeting on Monday to finalise the launch of the service. Managing Director (MD) of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) Mangu Singh, DTC MD Manoj Kumar, DIMTS MD M Rajshekhar and transport department officials were present.
“People will be able to use their metro cards in all buses of Delhi from August 24. I have directed officers to start advertisement campaigns so people are aware of the service,” Gahlot said.
The minister said though the metro has spread its network in the city, DTC and cluster buses still carry more passengers every day. “Hence, the common mobility card project is vital to integrate the city’s two biggest public transport systems,” he said.
According to government data, the daily average ridership of Delhi metro is 26 lakh whereas the state-run buses in the city carry about 35 lakh people.
The government had first set April 1 deadline for the launch of the service, which was later pushed to the end of the same month.
The second deadline too was missed because the DTC, which operates 3,750 buses in the city, was facing delays in the procurement of secure access module (SAM) chips that need to be fitted in every electronic ticketing machine (ETM) to enable e-payment.
The DTC said the chips are being procured from South Korea and its supplies were reaching the city in a staggered manner. The cluster buses operated by DIMTS did not face the problem as its ETMs were already enabled with the e-payment feature.
“Nearly 2,000 chips arrived in May and 3,000 more arrived recently. The process took time because in a single day, DMRC can energise or calibrate only 150 ETMs,” a DTC official said on condition of anonymity.
Officials privy to the development said the Nirav Modi scam added to the delay. “After the scam, the RBI stopped quasi-bank guarantee instruments such letter of undertakings and letter of comfort. So, the concessionaire had to find alternative payment methods to the vendor in South Korea from where these chips are being purchased. So, this took time,” an official said.
On January 8, Kejriwal had flagged off 250 buses that accepted metro cards for payments. With this, Delhi became the first city in India to introduce an e-purse travel system that performs transactions as low as Rs 5. The maximum fare a state-run bus in Delhi charges is Rs 25.
First Published: Aug 21, 2018 08:31 IST