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August 6, 2015

London-style transport coming to Kolkata soon

London-style transport coming to Kolkata soon

The London trip has inspired the Mamata Banerjee government to revolutionize public transport in Kolkata, starting with an Oyster-card type multi-access system.

The planned ‘Kolkata Transport Card’ (KTC) will be valid on all modes of mass transport in the city — private and state bus, tram, ferry and the Metro.

The transport department has already started working on the ‘integrated fare management and ticketing system’ that will champion public transport and ease congestion.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has put this on her priority list and the first technology exploration meeting will be held at Netaji Indoor Stadium at 5 pm on Friday.

The transport department is exploring the PPP mode with a revenue sharing model, say sources.

What is KTC?

  • The KTC would be a credit-card-sized stored value smartcard that can hold single tickets or period tickets.
  • Unlike London, where you have to buy separate Oyster cards for river transport and land transport, KTC will be valid for all modes of travel, said an official.
  • Like the Metro smartcard, passengers will have to touch it on an electronic reader while entering and leaving a bus, tram or ferry in order to validate a journey.
  • Cards can be topped-up by cash payment or online. The transport department aims to encourage its use by offering some free rides.
  • It will reduce the number of transactions at ticket counters and do away with paper tickets.
  • Since people won’t have to queue up for tickets, the card will lead to faster dispersal of commuters.
  • It will also improve revenue transparency as the fare automatically goes through a payment gateway and gets credited in the bus/tram/ferry-operator’s account.
  • It will also help you track bus arrival times through the same technology used by app-cabs now.