Single ‘Smart Card’ for all public transport in Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai to launch by 2018

Single 'Smart Card' for all public transport in Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai to launch by 2018
Representational Image. Picture Courtesy: Manchester Evening News

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), taking a cue from London’s transport system, is planning to introduce a consolidated ticketing system which will allow people to travel between Mumbai and its neighbouring cities with complete ease.

According to an HT report, MMRDA has appointed London’s Transport For London (TFL) to prepare a detailed plan for an Integrated Ticketing System (ITS) for the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).

TFL, a part of the Greater London Authority, is responsible for the successful implementation of the Oyster card, which allows citizens to travel seamlessly via the underground, overground rail networks, public buses and river transport in London.

Earlier, the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) had decided to introduce a national smart card plan under the National Urban Transport Policy.

However, since the plan has been put on an indefinite hold, the MMRDA decided to execute its own ITS plan for inter-city transport.

The smart cards will reportedly enable commuters to skip queues at ticket counters and travel anywhere between Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane and Palghar, without using any cash or alternate ticket.

MMRDA additional commissioner Sanjay Khandare told HT that TFL will study all aspects of the transport systems in the region to come up with a workable and feasible plan.

TFL is supposed to submit its report to the MMRDA in three months’ time.

“Once the report is submitted, we will invite tenders for execution of the system. According to our estimation, the smart card system will be operational in 18 months’ time,” Khandare said.

“TFL is supposed to devise a common operating system for all transport modes in the region. In addition, it will have to identify locations for Automated Fare Collection (AFC) machines for smooth commuter transition from one mode to other,” he added.

Khandare also said that smart card owners will be able to avail various discounts on shopping owing to third party tie-ups.

At present, all public transport modes in the region, except the Mumbai Metro One, have agreed to be a part of the project.

The one’s that have given their approval include suburban railways, monorail and bus services operated by civic bodies from Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan-Dombivli and Mira-Bhayandar.

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