The smart card that is to be introduced by the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) is likely to change the way you travel and shop in the city. The cross-transport smart card can also be used as a credit and debit card, at shopping malls, movie theatres and for online transactions. The planning authority is expected to start inviting bidders to design the software for the much-delayed single-ticketing system in December.
The card can be used across different modes of transport such as metros, monorail, suburban railway and BEST buses.
A senior MMRDA official said that the card can act as a debit or credit card and can be used even for non-transit transactions. The official said: “We will tie-up with banks to issue these cards that can be used for fare payment and in shopping malls.”
Apart from this, officials said that the cards will be based on an “open loop” system for fare collection.
An open-loop system would entail banks to operate at the back-end, unlike the conventional closed-loop system where the transport authority collects fares.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is keen on getting the project on track. A first-of-its-kind initiative in India for multi-modal corridors, the smart card may, however, reach you only by 2019.
The project is expected to be implemented in a phase-wise manner.
MMRDA is expected to begin the implementation of this project with the metro. Besides the existing line that connects Versova and Ghatkopar, the new lines are expected to link Colaba to Seepz, Dahisar to Andheri East and to Mankhurd, Lokhandwala to Kanjurmarg, Wadala to Thane, and Thane to Kalyan.
MMRDA is then planning to implement the system with the BEST buses and railways. The planning authority is also going to hold a competition to finalise the design for the smart card.
Now travelling and shopping across Mumbai will be BIG FUN!
Source: The Hindustan Times