Kolkata: Metro, Banks Eye ATM-Smart Card

Kolkata: Metro, Banks Eye ATM-Smart Card

Metro Railway is in talks with banks for the introduction of ATM cards that would also work as smart cards, allowing people to take rides without purchasing tickets. This was announced by Metro general manager Vishwesh Chaubey at a seminar on ‘Future Cities’ organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Friday. Metro is also on its way to launch a mobile app that will allow phone users to purchase tickets and simply flash the screens at smart gates for rides.

“We are already holding talks with Axis Bank to develop something that will double up as an ATM card and can be used for entering Metro stations. We are also discussing the revenue-sharing model with the bank. Not only will such a card ensure efficient operations in the Metro network and help in getting rid of long queues at booking counters, but will also require fewer booking clerks, resulting in substantial cost-saving,” Chaubey said.

The Metro GM also highlighted efforts being made to maintain financial viability. These include revenue from advertisements, stalls, ATMs and food stalls at stations. Mobile service providers will also be allowed to set up communications equipment at stations. He also spoke of Kolkata’s population growth and the role of Metro to cope with the transportation problem that is likely to surface by 2030.

According to him, Kolkata’s Metro network will treble in the next three-and-half years. From the existing 27 km, the network will go up to 78km. Metro now has 27 rakes and orders have also been placed for 52 more state-of-the-art ones. These will arrive by 2020, after which the number of rakes will also get trebled. As per KMDA’s Perspective Plan 2025, the projected population of Kolkata Metropolitan area will be 22.59 million in 2030.
“The carrying capacity of Metro will be six times more than now. The estimated carrying capacity by 2030 will be nearly 4 million. To tackle the expected surge, Metro has plans to run 1,600 services per day along all routes. The connectivity between Howrah and Sealdah by the East-West corridor will be a boon for people. The new AC rakes, with all modern facilities, will also allow commuters to take comfortable rides,” Chaubey added.
Source Link – TOI

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