"India Mobility Card" on the anvil - Government plans One Card for travel across country
Urban Development Ministry, Government of India, is considering launching of a common transport card, or "Common Mobility Card/India Mobility Card" by next year. This card could be used to travel across the country on all modes of transport. The ambitious project is expected to be launched in next year. According to an official, "These cards will function essentially as e-purses. This means the money will be on the card — these can be swiped and the value would be automatically deducted," The card would help obviate purchase of tickets.
The cards are expected to be used to cover all forms of transport, including all communication like buses, trains, metros, ferries, taxis and it could even include auto rickshaws. Conspicuously absent from the list is air travel. Work of the Project started a year ago. Delhi, Bangalore, Jaipur, Bhopal, Indore and Mumbai have already been chosen for the launch and the list is to be extended to whole of India in due course. "We are talking to the States to figure out how this can be done," the official said. The ministry is planning the option of electronic chips, which can be bought and installed in mobiles.
In many cities across the world, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing, Seattle, San Francisco, Stockholm, Gothenburg and Rome a system is in place for similar ticketing. The Ministry has engaged, earlier this year, UTITSL, a fully owned PSU of Ministry of Finance, to work on the concept of the Common Mobility Cards as well as the Automatic Fare Collection system, which is to be linked to the card system.
The ministry has ambitious plan to to extend the use of the card further to payment of tax on national highways, and even finally for utility payments like car parking, and shopping. "In Hong Kong, for instance, you can use the card for buying doughnuts," the official said. As a first step towards implementing the project, it would be necessary to instal card reading validators on vehicles, railway platforms, and bus depots.