In a major development, the consolidated ticketing system – which will allow a seamless commute across all modes of public transport in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region – is finally set to see the light of day by February 2019.
Over one crore commuters are expected to benefit from India’s first ever Integrated Ticketing System (ITS), which will allow people to travel between various public transport modes like local trains, BEST buses, Metro and Taxis with the use of a single ticket.
Back in 2016, Transport For London (TFL), which successfully implemented the ‘Oyster Card’ in UK’s capital city, was enlisted to prepare a detailed plan for an ITS covering the entire Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).
At the time, the deadline for the project was set at 2018-end. However, differences between stakeholders in terms of the accepted modes of payment created hurdles.
The roadblock, fortunately, was overcome on Thursday after a meeting between Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.
According to a report in the Hindustan Times, the state wanted to use payment mode called Account Based System (ABS), which stores the user’s account balance on a server.
Railways, meanwhile, wanted to use a combination of ABS and a Store Value card-based System (SVC), the payment mode recommended by the centre. In the case of SVC, the balance is stored in the physical card.
Since ABS could be linked to a mobile app, and eliminate the need for carrying a separate physical card, it was the preferred mode of payment.
“Railway was insisting upon SVC which is being adopted in cities such as Delhi and Kochi. But they have agreed upon ABS,” a senior official from Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the implementing authority, told the daily.
Other hurdles, pertaining to the implementation of the Rs 130 crore project, were also discussed and ironed out.
The decision to fast-track major suburban railway projects, stuck because of land acquisition and rehabilitation issues, was also taken during the meeting.
The 6th line between Mumbai Central to Borivali, Belapur-Seawood-Uran new line project, Panvel-Kalamboli Coaching terminus, and fast track of work for MUTP-3 Panvel-Karjat corridor were among the projects discussed.
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This project will ease major traffic congestion in Virar, Panvel, Bandra, Kalyan, Borivali and also includes station improvement.
— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) August 23, 2018