According to an estimate, the number of Indians living in cities is expected to touch 843 million by 2050. In order to accommodate this colossal urbanization, the government of India has kicked off the Smart Cities Project in which 100 cities and satellite towns are to be developed in smarter ways.
As part of the push, the Ministry of Urban Development has plans to invest more than US $20 billion on metro rail projects in the coming years. One of the key levers for smart transportation is a “single fare card.” A single fare card allows payments on various participating public transportation systems and can also be extended to retail payments, parking payments, etc.
In order to enable seamless travel across transit systems besides shopping, the Ministry of Urban Development launched the Smart National Common Mobility Card earlier last week. It is to be noted that the government had launched a similar card earlier as well, but with limited success. This time around, the government has relaunched the product after conducting an extensive study of different models adopted globally.
Across the world, there is no nation-wide common transit system card except for the one currently in Singapore. However, they have some shortcomings. The Smart National Common Mobility Card launched in India addresses the deficiencies and is considered to be an improved version of the one available in Singapore. The ministry has already funded $0.67M for developing the model.
Salient features of the Smart National Common Mobility Card:
- It is a multipurpose card used for transit, shopping and other auxiliary applications
- It will be a prepaid, open system based on EMV standards
- The NPCI will be involved in the development and management of clearing and settlement of payments, developing the network, terminals, and other program management services
- C-DAC will develop the standards and hardware for metro gates/validators