Mumbai Metro:BEST pushes for travel card to be valid on Metro, rail

The BEST administration on Thursday announced that it will float fresh tenders next week to acquire a new technologically advanced system for a common mobility card for its commuters.

A senior BEST official said commuters will be able to use this card as a ‘credit’ or ‘debit’ card to travel by buses and other modes of transport like railways, Metro, monorail and also use it for retail purchases in malls. The card is proposed to be linked to a bank account or work like Rupay card promoted by the Central government.

The BEST also proposes a ‘tap in-tap out’ service for commuters-a service wherein you can board a bus by tapping the mobility card on validator machines at the entrance and tap out while alighting from front. BEST general manager Surendrakumar Bagde confirmed that there is a plan to float new tenders to acquire a Common Mobility Card with advance features, including using the card for retail purchases. “We are not happy with the way the contract for e-ticketing was awarded in the past and there were certain irregularities. So, there is a proposal to cancel the existing contract awarded to Trimax,”he said.

The move to cancel the contract with Trimax for electronic ticket-issuing machines has not gone down well with some BEST panel members.Ravi Raja from the congress said, “This is unwarranted and will be opposed at the next committee meeting…,” he said, adding that the contractor may move court. Trimax officials were unavailable for comment.