The ambit of the common mobility card, which is currently valid on Metro and buses in Delhi, will be scaled up to cover all modes of transport, including autos and taxis, and even state-run retail outlets at a later stage, said Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot Monday.
Gahlot made the remarks on the occasion of rebranding of the Metro smart cards, which were fully integrated with the bus network in August. The cards, which have been redesigned, will now be known as ‘ONE’ card.
“I will be happy when these cards also cover autos, taxis and RTVs (rural transport vehicles), which will make connectivity seamless. In places such as Singapore and Hong Kong, these cards can even be used in grocery stores. Today, we have taken the first step towards that,” Gahlot said.
While the project saw a soft launch in January, wherein commuters could swipe their Metro cards to pay for their bus rides, the entire DTC and cluster service fleet was brought under the scheme in August.
Beginning Tuesday, the ‘ONE’ card will be available across all Metro stations and a few DTC pass counters. The existing Metro smart cards will continue to be valid as well.
Jasmine Shah, vice-chairman of the Dialogue and Development Commission (DDC), said the project faced hiccups initially as the electronic ticketing machines (ETMs), where the cards are to be swiped in buses, started running out of batteries in many cases.
“The glitches have been sorted out and the usage of cards have increased of late. It has risen all the more after extending the 10% discount of fares on usage of cards in buses,” said Shah, who played a key role in the rollout of the card.
The card was designed “free of cost” by a private firm, Gahlot said. Incidentally, the launch of the card was delayed over the selection of the firm, which senior transport department officials claim was done without following the due process.
When a senior executive of the firm was asked why they worked pro-bono, he replied, “We did it for the pride of Delhi.”
The common mobility system was conceived in 2010, before the Commonwealth Games.
The new cards bear sketches of Metro trains, DTC buses, auto rickshaws and a few iconic monuments of Delhi, apart from the logos of all three transport operators in the city — DMRC, DTC and the Delhi Government.
“The government will soon be launching a common app through which commuters can plan multi-modal trips from any point to any point in Delhi. They will also be able to see the live locations of Delhi’s buses,” an official statement said.