Bengaluru: The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) plans to set up automated top-up machines at key places in the city. This moves comes in wake of customers complain regarding long queues at to-up travel card counter. To ease the problem, BMRCL plans to have top-up machines at various places including bus stops.
Based on the current data, 60 % commuters use ‘Smart Card’ or ‘Varshik Card’. This card offers 15% discount to rider on each trip.
Ajay Seth, BMCRL’s managing director shares that the to-up automated machines to be kept on places with high footfall rates.
Seth adds that they plan to put the automated top-up machines at TTMC centres of BMTC, prominent banks as well as metro stations. They are also considering other places where these machines can be placed.
The MD however, did not give a time frame as to when these machines will be installed.
From February this year, BMCRL had allowed to increase the storage value on the card. At Metro stations if top-up facility is used, then commuters can deposit around Rs 3,000. If the same is done online, then they can add up to Rs 2,500.
Another problem encountered is the ticket-vending machines at metro stations. Off late they have been functioning erratically. Metro officials are dependent on external agencies to mend and rectify the error. Post demonetisation, the machines need calibration as per Bangalore Metro official.
In terms of further development, BMRCL has had a meeting with delegates from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The delegation was there in the city.
Seth informs that they had a dialogue with the delegates of JICA. Together they discussed the possibility of long term JICA financing for metro projects in the city.
JICA has also given funds for Phase-1 and Seth explored the chances of them funding Phase-II as well. As per records, JICA has given Rs 4,000 crore out for the 42.3 km Phase-I project whose total outlay is 13,845 crores.