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Common Mobility Card is now a Smart City Idea for Bengaluru

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A single smart card that citizens can use for cashless travel across all public transport modes? Well, this is an ecosystem the city civic corporation has proposed in its latest bid to make Bengaluru  a smart city. The common mobility card has been packaged under Bengaluru Transportrelated Information and Planning System (B­TRIPS), an app based platform that will allow commuters plan their travel across all modes. The modes include the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation BSE ­1.71 % , Namma Metro and cab services. In fact, the idea of a common mobility card was first proposed three years ago. As the BMTC and the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation did not see eye to eye on this system, it remained only on paper. What’s more, both the transport utilities went ahead to plan their own smart cards. While the Metro card is currently in use, the BMTC’s is still in the pipeline. Municipal Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad believes that the common mobility card is the way forward.

“In Singapore, the cost of using different modes of public transport comes down because of a single card,“ he said. While the Metro has already issued over five lakh smart cards, the BMTC holds that agencies such as the BBMP and the BMRCL will have to integrate with BMTC’s smart card, which is on its way. BMTC managing director Ekroop Caur said, “This will help commuters to use one card on all mobility platforms and can also be used with the smart parking facility the BBMP wants to introduce.“ BMRC managing director Pradeep Singh Kharola said Namma Metro would extend full support to the common mobility card project.

“We are in talks with the BMTC.“ A single smart card does not mean that Metro and BMTC smart cards will be phased out, according to TS Muralidhar, the nodal officer for the Smart Cities project. “Once they integrate their software, a BMTC card can be used on the Metro and vice­versa.“This is where the challenge lies, according to Centre for Smart Cities director RK Misra. “Metro has a proprietary hardware system for its smart cards, so integration is proving to be difficult. They should ask their vendor to allow the integration, or create additional wicket gates where commuters can swipe through BMTC cards,“ he said. “This has to be done regardless of whether Bengaluru gets the Smart City tag. And it has to be done now, because the Metro Phase 1 is opening up.“

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