Karnataka set to launch card for cashless travel in buses

Bangalore, Oct 28 (IANS) India’s tech hub Bangalore is racing with Pune in neighbouring Maharashtra to launch the country’s first ever Common Mobility Card for cashless travel in city buses.

Karnataka plans to introduce this facility soon in 1,000 buses in Bangalore, Transport Minister R. Ashoka told reporters here Thursday. He did not specify from when the facility will be operational.

Pune, about 800 km northwest of Bangalore, has set Nov 14 for launching the facility in its city buses.

Depending on the success of the experiment, the facility would be extended to cover Metro rail which is expected to start operations here in December.

The central government, which is sharing the cost of implementing the plan with the state governments, wants CMC to be used across any public transportation system like buses, trains, metros, ferries, taxis, autorickshaws.

It also wants the CMC to be used for toll collection on highways, retail payments, utility payments and vehicle parking slots.

The Bangalore project is being implemented at a cost of around Rs.16 crore of which the state will meet 65 percent and the rest will be borne by the central government.

Ashoka said around 100 re-charge centres would be established across Bangalore to enable commuters to re-charge their cards.

The central government mooted the idea of a Common Mobility Card to tide over the bottleneck in promoting the use of public transport.

‘One of the important activities of seamless connectivity is ticket integration,’ the union urban development ministry’s metro rail cell had said in its Sep 14 letter to all state government on promoting CMC.

‘The technology today makes it feasible to provide ticket integration in the form of a common ticket by way of a Contactless Smart Card which can work as per the fare system of the issuing operator and as an e-purse to enable ticketing on other operators’ network,’ the letter pointed out.

The Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) Chairman and Managing Director Dilip Band had said in Pune in late September that CMC would be introduced in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad from Nov 14.

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