Chennai: Commuters in Chennai will soon travel with ease if they are using public transport facilities. A single card travel system is likely to be introduced by the end of 2018. Using this card, commuters can hitch a ride in Chennai Metro and then take the MTC bus to reach their destination and vice-versa. If things go well this single smart card can be used for commuting via any public transport in the city.
All that commuters have to do is tap the card and travel hassle-free. According to Chennai Metro officials, the testing of single smart card is on for two modes of transport. The common mobility card or smart card will be introduced by the end of the year post the testing phase.
A Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) official has confirmed that they have tested the smart card at MTC’s electronic ticketing machines as well as metro rail stations in the city. If all goes well during the testing phase, the officials would be introducing this facility for the public by the end of this year.
In order to test the card’s usability, CMRL have upgraded their software and hardware IT infrastructure to check the compatibility of card.
Pankaj Kumar Bansal, managing director of CMRL had communicated in November 2017 that the smart card trials have been initiated and they were working along with MTC to launch them soon.
MTC conductors already have hardware at the electronic ticketing machines. All that is needed at their end is to upgrade the software to make the system compatible with that used by CMRL at various metro stations.
PWC Davidar, the state transport secretary has said that this is the just phase of one – connecting one smart card with metro and MTC. In future single smart card will be used across all state-transport facilities. Davidar also added that a lot needs to be done to set up a secured technology interface before the ambitious plan is put to action.
How will smart card make travel seamless?
The smart card will have a magnetic strip containing all data regarding station codes as well as amount recharged or added. When the card will be swiped or placed at automatic fare collection (AFC) fate while entering the station, the code will be encrypted in the card itself. When one will exit and swipe the card at AFC gate, the machine will automatically calculate the fare based on the distance travelled. The amount will be deducted from the money deposited in the card. Same process will be followed at MTC Bus station as well as metro station parking lots.