Users of the soon-to-be-opened Aqua Line that will connect Noida and Greater Noida will be able to use its smart card to also pay fares on city buses, parkings and even use it as a debit card for shopping at malls, senior officials said today.
The Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC) will have QR-coded paper tickets for single journeys, unlike the tokens of the Delhi Metro, and also have an option of checking in and out using a mobile app, they said.
However, the Aqua Line, that will begin from the Sector 71 station in Noida to end at the Depot Station in Greater Noida covering a stretch of 29.7-km via 21 stations, will not support the smart card used in the Delhi Metro, they said.
"The NMRC has partnered with the State Bank of India (SBI) for the 'City 1' cards which could be used on the metro rail, Noida city buses, parkings and even used as debit card for shopping," NMRC executive director P D Upadhyay told PTI.
He said the NMRC has also saved Rs 100 crore by associating with the SBI in the project for the sale of tickets and cards.
"This partnership is on a revenue sharing model. The entire investment is done by the SBI in return for revenue sharing," he said.
The card will support multiple options for travelling like day-long passes, trip tickets and monthly passes.
"Trip tickets, for example, mean that if you regularly travel from A station to B station, as several people working in offices do, you can have this option to get the best fair on the route you use regularly," Upadhyay said.
He said the users can also get a single journey paper ticket which will have a QR code printed on it. "You just tap the QR code on the AFC gate and check-in or check-out. These paper tickets will be used instead of tokens as tokens are a concern of revenue leakage," he said.
The executive director said another significant aspect of the Aqua Line will be its free mobile app which could be used by commuters to check-in or out of the system.
"People nowadays already have so many cards and papers to carry, why add more to it. The NMRC will have a mobile app which will be linked to the SBI wallet. The app will have a QR code which the users could use for entry and exit," he said.
The app will be available free of cost for Android and iOS phones.
The official informed that during the initial days, tickets will be sold at the metro stations -- which have two ticket counters and one customer care centre at each station -- but later machines will be brought in at all stations for vending the QR-coded paper tickets as well as for topping up the 'City 1' cards.
He said the card could also be recharged online from the websites of the NMRC as well as the SBI and in case any user loses their multi-service smart card, they can call up the SBI customer care to get it blocked immediately or contact the NMRC customer care booth at the metro station.
"The NMRC has identified some SBI branches in Noida as well as Greater Noida which will will be designated for this work. Details required for an emergency situation would be available on the backside of the card," he said.
Working on the latest 'open loop system' technology, the card can be used on any other metro rails which work on the system such as the Kochi and the Nagpur metros and other upcoming metros.
The service, however, is not available on the DMRC metro. The Delhi metro cards are exclusive for rail transit fair and just recently got acceptance on the Delhi government buses.
There will be an impediment for passengers coming from the Blue Line of the Delhi Metro who want to take the Aqua Line. They will have to get down at the Sector 52 metro station of the Blue Line, which will further get extended to the Noida Sector 62 station, and reach the Noida Sector 71 station of the Aqua Line, covering a stretch of around 150 metres.
"There will be a designated corridor over the road for passengers and also a separate security check in between. This will be similar to the one used to connect the Yellow Line of the Delhi metro with the Rapid Metro in Gurgaon," he said.
Upadhyay said the Aqua Line, whose construction started in May 2015 and completed in record time, is scheduled to go open for the public this November.
"The NMRC is aiming to launch the entire 29.7-km-long metro rail corridor in one go in November. The infrastructure work is complete, only the inspection work by the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) and signalling stabilisation verification are remaining," he added.