Ban on digital wallets and non-functioning ticket vending machines creates problem for metro commuters.
By Riya Sethi
Bangalore, April 9, 2019: The limited recharge facilities available at the metro stations is causing a stir among the people of Bangalore. The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has not provided the public with enough recharge options.
Digital wallets like Paytm, GooglePay, and PhonePe are not accepted at the metro stations to recharge the metro cards. The ticket vending machines installed at some of the metro stations like Mysore Road and MG road do not function.
Metro commuters are facing difficulties due to all of this as they have only the option to stand in long queues and getting their smart cards recharged. The long lines and the lack of staff available at the metro counters can double the commute’s time.
The new ruling by the BMRCL that makes it mandatory for metro commuters to have at least Rs. 50 in their smart cards has aggravated the problem.
Aakash Khurana, a daily commuter said, “I am a regular traveler by metro and I have to take it to reach my office. For recharging my card, or getting a token, I have to stand in a long queue and this takes a lot of time as usually, there is only one person available at the counter.”
He also said that due to non-availability of online recharge options, this becomes more of an issue.
Recently, the commuters protested against the hike in the minimum value of smart cards but the BMRCL did not respond to it.
Vijeth, another commuter, said, “The ticket vending machines are of no use as they do not work. They are always ‘Out of Service.’ I take the MG Road Metro on a regular basis and most of the times, there is only one person at the counter who will provide a token, as well as recharge your card. Initially, the card holders could recharge their card from the other counter but now, nobody sits on that counter and we have to stand in the same line as the token buyers.”
Charu Sehgal, a professor of economics said, “Today, everything is digital and digital wallets are being used at every place, be it cafes, buses and taxis. If the BMRCL revokes the ban on digital wallets, the public will be able to relax. It will reduce the work of both the public and the metro officials.”