Metro commuters will no longer have to stand in queues to recharge their travel smart cards. The Delhi Metro is now planning to install automatic fare collection (AFC) gates that will have a provision to recharge smart cards and later withdraw the amount from the card holders bank account,officials said.
The Metro smart cards will be linked to the card holders bank account and through electronic clearance system (ECS) the amount will be deducted from the account. We are in the process of procuring AFC gates,which will have the capacity to automatically top up smart cards through the bank accounts of card holders. Through this facility,when the balance of a smart card goes down to the minimum amount,the AFC gates will add predefined amount into the card automatically. Later,the amount will be collected from the card holders bank account by the Metro fare collection system, said a Delhi Metro spokesperson.
This system will not only reduce cash transactions at the ticket counters but also help the commuters avoid long queues to get their cards recharged.
The Delhi Metro is also developing technology through which commuters will be able to recharge their smart cards through various modes such as net banking,credit cards and debit cards. For this,new Add Value Machines are being procured to be installed at the stations.
We are currently working on the finalisation of the technologies which will be used for this facility. It will be made available will be made available to the commuters in another seven to eight months, the spokesperson said.
Delhi Metro was the first Metro rail in the world to introduce Contact-less Smart Tokens (CST) and Contact-less Smart Cards (CSC) in place of paper tickets to travel in the Metro. The average life of a CSC/CST is 50,000 electronic transactions or 6-7 years.
As of now,tokens and smart cards can be purchased or recharged only by paying cash at the specified counters,machines or customer care centers at metro stations.
According to official estimates,more than 61 lakh metro smart cards are in circulation currently. About 12,000 such cards and about 6.5 lakh tokens are being sold each day. Officials said the smart cards have been very popular in Delhi Metro as commuters get a 10 per cent discount on fares on use of the smart cards.