Guest Column: Smart transport options should be a cakewalk for IT City’

A comprehensive public transport system with seamless integration is key to ensuring that it is sustainable in a city. For public transport to be attractive , there must be seamless integration of information and services, physical integration between the Metro Rail, the BMTC, suburban rail, BBMP and traffic police, the overall cost of travel time and convenience and comfort.  

Close integration of  services, ticketing and information will enhance the commuters’ travel experience in the city whether by the Metro, BMTC, suburban rail, bicycle sharing, cabs or autos. Most Western countries and a few Asian cities have excellent common mobility cards, which reduce all travel hassles.

In India, the Union government has issued guidelines for a National Common Mobility Card for all modes of public transport in accordance with NUTP,  2006.  With Bengaluru being the IT and technology capital of India, rolling out a Common Mobility Card for Automatic Fare Collection ( AFC ) should be a cakewalk for it . Commuters are awaiting this inter-operability facility to improve their travel experience, avoid standing in long queues, promote cashless transactions and better urban mobility. Once it is introduced  more commuters are bound to switch to public transport. 

Currently, most modes of public transport in Bengaluru charge relatively more than their equivalents in other cities of the country. If a common mobility card is introduced it could also bring down the commuters' travel cost.  All the stakeholders need to work closely in introducing a common mobility card for urban transport, which has been delayed for years and make a success of it setting their  differences aside. This card should enable Bengaluru to opt for Smart City solutions and be a role model for the rest of the country.

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