One city, four smart cards
If you thought life would become a little easier once the Metro and Monorail start functioning, you were wrong. Citizens will have to carry a separate smart card for the both the Metro and Monorail, apart from the two separate smart cards that they already carry for BEST buses and local train travel on Central and Western Railway.
According to the original plan by Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), there was supposed to be only one integrated smart card that could be used on any of the 4 modes of transport – local trains, BEST buses, Metro and Monorail. But the integrated smart card will take some time.
Speaking to MiD DAY, UPS Madan, Metropolitan Commissioner, said, “When the Metro and Monorail will be operational, commuters using the services will have to carry two different cards, as the integrated card will take some extra time.” According to MMRDA, the delay is because of technical issues.
“We are already working on the integrated smart card and within a few months, it will be ready,” added Madan.
The original plan was to integrate Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Transport, Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport, Thane Municipal Transport (TMT), Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST), Western and Central Railways under the aegis of Unified Mumbai Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMMTA), a government body, and have an integrated smart card for all of them.
Sources from MMRDA
told MiDDAY that UTI Infrastructure Technology and Services Limited (UTIITSL) may be approached to develop the integrated smart card.
The deadline for the Metro to be opened to the public is December this year. The Monorail, whose Wadala-Chembur corridor was supposed to open to the public on September 15, missed its deadline again. MiD DAY had carried a report on the delay (Monorail misses deadline again, September 16).
According to MMRDA authorities, the Monorail too will be functional by the end of the year, though no concrete date has been given.