Launches collectible cards to recover losses faced due to delay in starting services; on sale for Rs 500 at stations
The Bangalore Metro, which is fast trying to make up for its losses due to the delays, is now looking at various marketing options to sell the brand 'Namma Metro'. The latest initiative is the 3D smartcard being sold at all stations as a collectible for Rs 500.
The Metro, before it was finally launched, had missed four deadlines, and the 584-day delay resulted in a loss of over Rs 29.20 crore
The Metro, before its launch, had missed four deadlines and this 584-day delay resulted in it losing over Rs 29.20 crore. According to BMRCL officials, the average revenue generated since launch is around Rs 7 lakh and the trend is expected to continue as the new mode of transport is fast catching on.
"We are now looking a various options to promote the Metro and the 3D collectible card sporting the Vidhana Soudha and the Metro Rail is a first move forward. However, there are more such initiatives in discussion," said U A Vasanth Rao, general manager (Finance), BMRCL.
The collectible 3D smartcard is available at all stations, but if commuters want to use it for travelling, they will have to use pre-paid 'refill' currency ranging between Rs 50 and Rs 1,500 to top-up.
The Bangalore Metro has till now has sold over 40,000 Metro smartcards, and based on its success has now distributed 6,000 3D smartcards at all the six stations - M G Road, Trinity Circle, Ulsoor, Indiranagar, Old Madras Road and Byappanahalli.
Also, Bangalore Metro's Telecom Partner has distributed 2,000 of the cards for promotion. Commuters on the other hand have mixed feelings about these 3D smartcards.
"For me the Metro is merely a mode of transport, albeit a much more sophisticated one at that. I don't see a reason for spending Rs 500 on a collectible travel card when I can buy the other one for merely Rs 100," said Shailesh, an IT employee.
While many others echoed the sentiment, for a few commuters at the station - this would be a keepsake to mark this memorable launch. "Metro is a novelty and an entirely new concept. I have bought the 3D smartcard for memory-sake," said Brijinder Kumar.
The BMRCL is now planning to introduce a smartcard-cum-keychain in the next few months. Even as Bangalore Metro is currently doing brisk business, the urban experts are of the opinion that the Metro should instead be gearing up for the slowdown.
"Right now, the Metro is riding on the initial euphoria. That however, will fizz out shortly. Before that happens, they should finish the Metro line extension to Whitefield at least," said R K Mishra, Urban Infrastructure Expert.
He further pointed out that instead of only looking at marketing initiatives, the Bangalore Metro should work towards improving areas around and below the stations. This he said would help to make up for the losses faster.