In Mumbai, you may soon be able to use one card for all modes of transport | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

In Mumbai, you may soon be able to use one card for all modes of transport

Hindustan Times | By
Jul 26, 2019 12:22 AM IST

MRVC prepares plan to implement Centre’s ₹200-cr project that includes integrated ticketing

A common mobility card for different modes of public transport, stuck for long, may become a reality in the coming days.

Passengers in a Central Railway train. Mumbai’s suburban railway network ferries 75 lakh commuters daily.(HT FILE)
Passengers in a Central Railway train. Mumbai’s suburban railway network ferries 75 lakh commuters daily.(HT FILE)

The Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC), the planning and execution body for railway projects, has planned to bring this ticketing system on Mumbai’s suburban railway network, which ferries 75 lakh commuters daily. The MRVC has prepared a 200-crore plan for implementation of the National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) proposed by the Central government. The plan includes setting up of infrastructure for use of mobility card.

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Despite CM Devendra Fadnavis’s announcement, the single ticketing system couldn’t be functional in Mumbai by December 2018. Meanwhile, the Centre announced the NCMC, after which it was decided to adopt it for Mumbai.

Mumbai has four lines of suburban railway, metro, monorail, BEST and auto-taxi services.

Currently, each transport mode in Mumbai has its own ticketing system — for suburban trains, commuters can use the ATVM card apart from the physical tickets; RFID, or Radio Frequency Identification cards are used in BEST buses; the Mumbai Metro One also has its own card, while all payments for taxis and auto-rickshaws need to be done through cash despite the high ridership.

In the first phase, all major transport agencies, including Railways, Metro and Monorail, will put in place infrastructure for NCMC on their respective networks, after which the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) will integrate these individual systems in the second phase.

A senior official of MRVC said they have sent the proposal to the railway board, the policy-making body of Indian Railways, for approval earlier this month.

It will be executed on the Public-Private Partnership model. “Railway board’s nod is expected within a week or two,” said a senior official from MRVC.

After getting the nod, MRVC will issue tenders to appoint an implementing agency, probably a bank or a financial institute, for a project that would be implemented in a suburban network of CR and WR. Before this, a committee will be set up to prepare tender documents.

Across the world, big metros have single or multiple common mobility cards — London has the Oyster Card, Hong Kong the Octopus card, Sydney has the Opal card, Toronto Presto, and Manila has the Beep card.

The system was in talks for more than a decade. For the past several years, MMRDA was working on it.

According to MRVC officials, the Centre has already laid down specifications for the software and hardware, which includes handheld devices with ticket-checkers, validators at stations or buses and recharge points, necessary for NCMC cards.

The agency selected after the tendering process will install necessary hardware at the stations, besides setting up backend infrastructure.

MRVC officials said NCMC will be a store value-based card like the Automatic Ticket Vending Machine (ATVM) Card. However, it differs from ATVM, as passengers need not book tickets using the value stored on the card.

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    Kailash works with the political team and has been covering transport beat for over a decade. He is interested in travel and music.

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