Saturday, August 20, 2016

Delhi Transport Corporation soon to have man-less fare collection

            The heart  of any transport company is the ‘Fare collection system’. The success of a transport corporation is largely attributed to collection of fares at the lowest possible cost.

            Over the decades, the collection cost of ‘fares’, has reduced to a considerable extent.

            One way to still reduce the costs is digitization of the ‘fare collection’, process

            Digitization of  fare collection refers to the process wherein the human staff in the Bus need not issue tickets.   The passengers pay the requisite fare through Physical cards. The physical cards can be wallets wherein the money is stored on the card itself or debit/credit card.

            Each feature has its own plus and minus points.

            DTC with  a fleet size of 5000+ buses, first thought of the man-less fare collection in 2010, when the Commonwealth Games were scheduled. However the scheme could be conceptualized only in 2015.

            In January  2015, DTC issued the Tender Notice for ‘Design,  Develop,  Build,  Install,  Maintain  and  Transfer  of  Automated Fare  Collection  System  (AFCS)   in  entire  fleet  of  DTC’.

            The project finally took in early 2016, with 200 buses fitted with ETMs(Electronic Ticketing Machines) . By August 2016, more than 60% DTC buses were having ETMs.

            In another couple of months, all DTC buses will have ETMs for collection of the fares. 

            Meanwhile, on Friday i.e 20/08/2016 DTC took the first step by using the Delhi Metro card on the electronic ticketing machines installed on its buses. As part of the project, a real-time transaction was carried out with a Metro card on the ETM of a DTC bus.

            DTC and Delhi Metro officials were surprised with the successful pilot results and DTC imposed on itself, a two-month deadline for the launch of the Common Card Project.

            Q: What is Common Card Project?

            Ans: In simple terms, the aim of the Common Card Project is to enable the passenger to travel on DTC buses or Delhi Metro Trains with single Smart Card. The passenger need not use multiple ticketing platforms.

            Benefits of Smart  Card Project:-

01) Reduction in cost collection of ‘fares’.

02)Reduction in waiting time at ticketing counters.

03)Reduction of carbon footprints in Metro Stations

04)Real time analysis of customer traffic. Steps can be taken to increase/decrease frequency based on traffic patterns.

05)Introduction of special fares  during off-peak hours to increase the fare collection

06)Elimination of paper based tickets

07)Reduce fraud instances  of fake  tickets/fake monthly passes

08)Increase in the cash  float to DTC and Delhi  Metro, as the money kept by passengers in the Smart Card Wallet can be utilised by the respective corporations. 

09)Special schemes for students, senior citizens, ladies, corporate passengers can be rolled-out 

Impediments overcome so far::_

a)    Revenue sharing agreements

b)   Disparate ticketing software programs in DTC and Delhi Metro

c)    Mindset

The common mobility card project has been in the pipeline for several years now. It was first mooted during the 2010 Commonwealth Games, but couldn't take off because of a variety of issues, including lack of clarity over how the revenue of the two transport bodies will be segregated.
Ultimately the Common Smart Card will have the facility of Monthly passess too.