All News At Finger Tips

4,000 Kolkata Metro smart cards returned daily | Kolkata News – Times of India

KOLKATA: Metro’s footfall graph may be rising, but around 4,000 commuters are returning their smart cards every day, forcing the carrier to pay back around Rs 1.7 lakh from its cash counters daily. These commuters are purchasing the smart card to travel by Metro in the morning but returning them at the end of the day to take back the balance.

Most of these commuters used to buy single-journey tokens before the pandemic. With Metro not issuing tokens now, these commuters were forced to adopt smart cards as a means to travel by Metro. However, many of them are unwilling to leave the cash on the card by the day’s end and instead return the card to take back the balance, only to purchase a fresh card the next morning.
A smart card costs Rs 120, of which Rs 80 stays deposited with Metro. Of the remaining Rs 40, Metro offers a 10% incentive or rides worth Rs 44. When this balance is exhausted, the cards need to be recharged. But when the card is returned, the unused balance and the deposit amount is refunded to the commuter.
Metro is campaigning on the plus points of having a smart card. It is the most user-friendly ticketing system, especially in pandemic times, it says. But smart cards and tokens can’t be directly pitted against each other, confessed officials. “Officially, we can’t discourage any passenger from submitting his card, even if it means debiting huge sums of money every day. The trend is worrying,” rued a station manager.
Metro deputy general manager Protyush Ghosh said while smart cards are safe during a pandemic, it is even convenient otherwise as the commuter is spared of long queues. The card can also be recharged online. He, however, added, “In absence of tokens, it is true that some passengers may find it convenient to return smart cards. Though they are valid for a year, some may be reluctant to spend Rs 120 while embarking on a single day’s journey.”
At the meeting of the Metro Railway Users Consultative Committee on November 9, Metro Railway general manager Manoj Joshi said that tokens will be back as soon as Covid cases reduce significantly, responding to a question by Shankar Das, nominated member of Railway Board, as to why only smartcards are allowed for boarding a Metro train. The GM explained that tokens would add to the risk of transmission. Metro had earlier announced re-issuance of tokens from March 15, but deferred its decision on March 13 as Bengal’s daily Covid count rose to 700-plus.

Source link

Exit mobile version