From the January 2018, commuters in Delhi will be able to use their Delhi Metro smart card to travel on 250 buses in the city.
According to the Indian Express, Delhiites can use their metro smart card as a ticket on nearly 200 buses under the Delhi Transport Corporation and 50 under the cluster bus system, allowing commuters to switch from bus to Metro without a hitch.
E-ticket machines are already installed in all DTC buses and those under the cluster service, say local authorities. Additional work, however, will be required to install a secure access module (SAM) chip in these machines so that they can read Metro cards.
This common card project has been in the offing since 2010. In 2012, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation had announced a project to introduce a smart card that could be used in both the Delhi Metro and its feeder buses, ensuring last mile connectivity.
The plan was to initially test this scheme out on ten feeder buses, before extending it to the entire fleet, following which the facility would be available for DTC and cluster scheme buses. Unfortunately, this plan never saw the light of day.
Integrating public transport systems is a critical facet of urban development. The Centre had announced last November its plans for implementing integrated transport systems across metropolitan cities in India to ensure smooth travel and last mile connectivity.
Common mobility smart cards feature across major global cities. London has its Oyster Card, Singapore has one, and many German cities allow commuters to use their BahnCard.
Once SAM chips are installed on all e-ticketing machines, officials believe that the average commuter will be able to use a Metro smart card to purchase bus tickets. As for revenue sharing, the DTC, DMRC and Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (for cluster buses) have reportedly worked out the modalities.