Metro smart cards in buses not coming soon

Metro smart cards in buses not coming soon

Although the urban development ministry has announced that commuters will soon be able to use Metro smart cards in cluster and DTC buses, they will have to wait a bit longer for this to happen.

Urban development secretary Sudhir Krishna had said on Tuesday that ‘More' cards will be introduced in cluster buses in few months and the ‘common mobility card project’ will be operational by December.

A reason for choosing cluster buses ahead of DTC ones for the project is availability of electronic ticketing machines (ETM) in the former. The ETM project is also seen as the stepping stone to the implementation of the common mobility card. 

However, officials of the Delhi Integrated Multi-modal Transit System (DIMTS), who operate cluster buses, say it will take time before the project becomes operational as back-end work needs to be fixed and complex integration technology is required. 

“We can’t fix a time as of now. Back-end preparation needs to be done first. Once DMRC shares the technology being used in their network, DIMTS will have to assess it and go ahead with whatever technological integration is required,” said SN Sahai, CEO of DIMTS.

He said several agreements are required to be signed and the transport department is holding meetings with DMRC in this regard.

For DTC buses, the project is likely to take even more time as ETMs are still to be introduced on them. ETMs were to be installed in DTC buses in early 2011. But the project was delayed over revenue sharing between DTC and DIMTS. The latter was initially assigned the task of executing the project.

The issues prompted the transport department to seek the expertise of other companies for implementing the project. UTI Infrastructure Technology and Services Ltd may be roped in for the task. “Taking into account the different processes involved — tender, creating technological support, any agency that is given the contract will need nine months to complete the work,” said a senior DTC official.

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