Come January, commuters will be able to utilise their Delhi Metro smart cards to travel aboard 250 buses being operated by the State-run Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC). According to the Transport Department, this number will gradually go up enabling the provision of the service aboard more vehicles on the fleet of the DTC.
MoU for cards
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With the beta testing for such devices at its final stage, it has been decided to equip Electronic Ticketing Machines (ETMs) on 200 low-floor buses and 50 cluster buses with Secure Access Module (SAM) cards before January, 2018. This will enable usage of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) card to pay the requisite fare.
Sources claimed efforts were under way to ink an MoU with a foreign hardware provider for the procurement of more SAM cards to expedite usage of a common mobility card aboard State-run buses. The project was intended to take off by Diwali this year but could not due to technical constraints, including the non-availability of adequate number of SAM cards, said sources.
“The process (of installing SAM cards on Electronic Ticketing Machines) is ongoing and Delhi Metro cards will be usable on at least 250 DTC buses, including those being operated under the cluster scheme, in January,” said Varsha Joshi, Secretary and Commissioner, Transport.
A year ago, the DTC had successfully carried out a real transaction through a DMRC smart card on an ETM installed on a DTC bus. Software being utilised by both the DMRC and the DTC was integrated through a shared hardware module and shared security keys.
Plan since 2010
A pipe dream since 2010, when it was originally intended to be functional well in time for the Commonwealth Games in October and be the answer to London’s Oyster among similar cards operational abroad, the Department has successfully concluded a trial of the project.
Once the system is in place, data related to transactions will go to the Central Clearing House automatically at 11.59 p.m. daily, and transactions of the DMRC and the DTC will be segregated and the amount will go to specific accounts, as per the plan which has SAM chips at its core.
A technical issue related to common mobility earlier, an official said, was whether it was to be provided through DMRC cards or separate ones developed for the DTC.