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.