From the next year, you can use your debit or credit card to travel on the Delhi Metro. There are plans of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation to upgrade the current database and software for the Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) system on the existing network. This will help in the lining of the new system which will be used in the upcoming Phase IV stations.
The new system will see the enhancement of AFC gates in the entire network. The primary objective is of promoting more digitization of services apart from cashless transactions.
Not only is the AFC software being upgraded by the metro corporation, but also the ‘firmware’ that will be helping the commuters in using the debit or credit cards of any bank as smart cards. These facilities are available currently at cities like Nagpur and Kochi, but they are applicable only for those cards which are issued by a particular bank.
However, transactions from all banks through the Rupay card issued by the DMRC system will be accepted by them. The Airport Express Line will be the first to get this system and will be followed by other corridors later.
This new system will also be helpful in the creation of more ‘fare zones’ in the network. This will help in the determination of the fare to be deducted from the smart after a journey that will be based on the distance traveled.
A DMRC spokesperson explained that presently, there are 32 fare zones in the metro system. The number of fare zones is required to upgrade to 64 from 32 because of the increase in the network system in the coming years. The number of maximum stations in the system will also have to upgrade to 512.
‘Penalty deductions’ will also be possible under the new system through smart cards. Currently, an increased value has to be paid by a commuter at the exit if he stays for a longer duration at the station or travels further than his ticket value or if there is no ticket.
The spokesperson claimed that in such cases, the customer has to go to the customer care and pay the supplement amount by cash even if he has enough balance on his card. The new function will be aimed at making the passengers able to use the smart card for the payment of the adjusted amount.
‘Point of Sale’ terminals will also be incorporated by the DMRC with ticketing machines at the customer care of the older Phase-I and Phase-II stations. He added that this is required to be done to facilitate payment via debit and credit cards.
The up-gradation of the AFC system is expected to take a year and a half to complete and is expected to start soon. The older AFC machines are also being refurbished by DMRC to reduce the instances of snags.
At present, there are around 2,700 AFC gates in the entire metro network.