“In around 2008, i.e almost a decade ago, Mumbai’s need of ‘Integrated / Single Ticketing System’ (One Smart Card / Common Mobility Card for all Travel modes & Commuting options) arised.
Again Updated in 2018 and as expected by December that year (Maximum by early 2019), That one smart card will be ready for public use to ease ticketing vows of commuting in Metro trains, Monorail & BEST buses, and a few suburban local trains railway stations which are ready with infra needed.”
Updates 2022: The ‘Common Mobility Card’ is yet to be public and ready to use. Really don’t know the reasons, But seems like it is a huge project and as soon the hurdles are clear, Soon be ready as the Smart Ticketing System in Mumbai.
Expect Mumbai to be on the top list of the smart cities in India with the first of its kind of ‘Ticketing System’ like lots of other cities around the world. This system by MMRDA will have mobile apps, online payment, a smart card payment wallet, and gradually debit & credit cards all integrated into the software system. The idea is to cut off the long ticket queues, save time and all other hurdles and head straight to the commuting option like Bus, Local trains, Metro or Monorail, and others as planned.
Why The Delay in One Card Ticket System ?
Major modes of transport and commuting in Mumbai are Local trains, Auto, Taxi, BEST buses, Metro trains and Monorail. Almost every transport mode has a different governing agency deciding upon the rules, ticketing, and every other aspect related. There is no single government body that can rule out the required changes and bring on the much-needed ‘Integrated Ticketing System’ quickly and live to public needs. A common body called ‘Unified Mumbai Metropolitan Transport Authority’ (UMMTA) was formed as the need arise in 2008. The members of UMMTA are top heads of all these modes of transport, travel experts, authorities of state transport & urban development departments who meets periodically to discuss on improving and decide on ‘need of the time’ related topics such as this ‘Ticketing System’.
The problem is that the formed committee is not authorized to make any decisions but to meet, discuss and get innovative ideas and solutions to current problems and needs. This helps as a joint effort to discuss and bring out solutions to many commuting-related problems and needs and helps further developments. But without quick decisions and implementations, ideas loose the momentum of development and progress and so the delay. But the good news is that This year-end (Or early 2019 if implementation took a little more time) will see the Smart cards rolling out to public use to ease commuting.
How Integrated Single Ticketing System Works ?
To start with, You need to get your ‘Single Ticketing Smart Card’ with Minimum recharge of Rs.100 (Figure may change in the future) as a security deposit and add money to it as and when needed. Next, Enter Metro, Monorail or BEST bus and swipe your card at the available options and devices like Hand Held Swipe Machines (with BEST bus conductor) or at Automated Fares Collecting Entry gates at Metro train single entry point and similarly for Monorail travel. For Suburban local trains, this is still a challenge and the team is working out for solution as most platforms both the east and west side has multiple entry options. On strongly boundaries railway stations where fare collection gates are possible (No other entry exits) this ticketing system will be implemented (For now just Seasonal Pass).
Once the commuter swipes at the selected travel mode, The amount gets deducted from the Smart card and gets deposited into a Common / Center Bank Account. This is a common account for all travel options and agencies (Bus, Train, Metro’s, Monorails, Toll etc). At the end of the day, that account is processed and the amount gets deposited to the respective transport authority’s account. According to MMRDA, further developments and flexibility to the system will be added for cashless and queue-less travel. Options like Online ticketing (Without Smart cards), Credit and Debit cards to be used directly at ticketing machines, Mobile apps with QR code tickets etc makes this system more flexible and user friendly. This will make travel and ticketing hassle-free for all commuters.
Which all Public Transport Modes Comes Under Ticketing System ?
- Mumbai Metro Trains (Currently Operational and Others under construction as soon started).
- Monorails (Monorail Jacob Circle to Wadala to Chembur) and others as and when started.
- Navi Mumbai Metro Corridor by CIDCO
- Seasonal Passes for Local Trains at Western, Central and Harbour Railway Routes (If Feasible).
- BEST Buses
- Navi Mumbai Buses (NMMT)
- Thane Municipal Transportation (TMT Buses)
- Mira Bhayandar Buses (MBMT)
- Maharashtra State Transport Buses (MSRTC)
- Toll Nakas
*Monorail Picture Courtesy ‘Mayank Mittal’.