In June last year, BMTC had partnered with Axis Bank to launch what it calls India’s first open loop EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) card system
All 4 lakh student passes issued by the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) will be replaced with contactless smart cards starting Saturday.
The transport utility is buying more time to extend this facility to other users. The project was taken up exactly a year ago.
BMTC managing director Dr Ekroop Caur confirmed that only students who use bus passes will get smart cards. The rollout will be in phases. “Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will launch the facility at the Kempegowda bus station on June 10,“ she said.
“Counters that issue passes have been set up at Majestic and Shivajinagar bus stations as well as in some of our Traffic & Transit Management Centres (TTMCs). We are also planning to make these smart cards available in Bangalore One centres,“ a BMTC official told ET.
At present, smart cards will be limited only to students as there is no cash transactions involved during their journey. The transport utility has refrained from extending this facility to the general public as the “integration of smart cards with electronic ticketing machines, a hand-held device of conductors, is still under progress“.
The BMTC issues bus passes at a concessional rate to all categories of students from class one to post-graduation. While primary school students spend Rs 130 a year, BMTC charges Rs 1,230 for college students. “The state government bears 50% of the cost incurred for introducing this scheme while about 25% each is borne by the student and BMTC,“ the official added.
Bhanu Prathap, a commerce student with the Seshadripuram College, is among the many eager to switch over to the smart card. “It’s a welcome initiative. This facility will help me as I use the bus from my home in Whitefield to the college,“ he said. It takes Prathap about two hours to travel one way .
In June last year, BMTC partnered with Axis Bank to launch what it calls India’s first open loop EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) card system. To be made available for commuters at a cost of Rs 25, the prepaid transit card can be used for cashless travel and also on point-of-sale terminals available with merchants.
The bank, which is investing on the smart card, data integration and allied infrastructure, will get 69 paise for every transaction of Rs 100.