As Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated the Kochi Metro, country’s eighth inter-city metro rail project, a pre-paid card called Kochi One card meant to facilitate cashless travel on the metro and other commercial transactions is also set to be released alongside. Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu is slated to inaugurate Kochi One. A mobile application for these cards, too, will be launched, which will be activated a few days later.
So what is the Kochi One card?
Kochi One is a prepaid smart card. To begin with, it can be used only to travel in metro trains. Subsequently, the commuters can use it on buses and ferries, and even to pay utility bills. “Efforts are on to rope in KSEB (Kerala State Electricity Board) and KWA (Kerala Water Authority) so that people can pay power and water bills using the card,” Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) Managing Director Elias George told The Hindu. KMRL plans to hold ‘melas’ near metro stations to encourage people to purchase the card, George added.
The card will be priced at Rs 150 and can be brought from the metro stations by providing minimum details like phone number and date of birth. The first top-up will be for Rs 200.
Passengers can do transactions up to Rs 10,000 every month for every card. The transactions can be raised to Rs 1 lakh per month after submission of necessary ID proof. Subsequent recharges can be done from Rs 100 onwards. The metro agency is also planning to set up kiosks to popularise the card.
The smart card uses chip-card technology for making payments, which is a technical standard for smart cards also used by Europay, MasterCard, and Visa. The cards are launched in association with Axis Bank.