The Namma Metro prepaid cards often expire even if one has balance and these cards do not mention the validity unlike special Metro prepaid cards of certain banks, commuters rue.
Officials say that the once the yearly validity expires on the Namma Metro prepaid cards, even if one has balance, it has to be revalidated by paying Rs 20. However, the special Metro prepaid cards of banks such as ICICI and Federal Bank, with which BMRCL has a tie up, can be used as debit cards as well as Metro travelling cards and are valid for up to 10 years.
Recounting his bitter experience, D R Prasad Gupta, a resident of Indiranagar, said: “My wife and I have prepaid Metro cards which we use to travel to MG Road. Recently, I was returning from Tirupathi and after getting down at Baiyapannahalli I decided to board the metro train. I was shocked when my card was invalid when i tried to swipe it. I then asked the customer service executives at the station and they told me that my card had expired and I need to get it re-validated. How can a prepaid card have an expiry date and that too even when there is balance in it. I was forced to pay Rs 20 to activate the card for another year to use the funds in it.”
He added that he had also sent an email to the BMRCL officials in this regard but had not received any response yet.
Another regular commuter, on the condition of anonymity said: “ When the card does not mention the validity period, how can we remember up to which date the card is valid. Also, the commuters having prepaid cards pay in advance for the travel they have not undertaken.
In such a case, the card having only one year validity is unfair and that too for only limited travel as the entire Phase I is still to be completed”.
When contacted, BMRCL’s chief public relations officer U A Vasanth Rao said: “ As per the existing norms, the commuter holding a prepaid card has to undertake the journey at least once in a year for the card to remain active and the card has to be re-validated annually.
These are the existing norms for metro train cards in other cities as well. However, for the convenience of the commuters here, we are working out a plan to have longer validity period for these cards”.