Delhi Metro is looking to be the first metro line in India to link biometrics to smartcards, in a bid to offer concessions to riders.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is looking to regulate its fares for students and senior citizens, and has planned a technological solution to carry out the transaction seamlessly, announced Hardeep Singh Puri, the Housing and Urban affairs minister. A new range of smartcards will be rolled out that will store the passengers’ biometric information and will be smartly integrated with the existing automatic fare collection gates at metro stations.
Once the new biometric-based ticketing system is installed, the smartcard will be linked to an individual users’ credentials, and the card will no longer be transferable. Even though the DMRC has the fare concessions planned out, it will be a while before these systems are functional. The Fare Fixation Committee (FFC) is yet to finalize the quantum of the fare concessions. This committee was set up by the Central Government to revise the Delhi Metro fares, which have remained unchanged since 2017 for the most part.
Along with fair pricing, this should also make the ticketing process faster, reduce the number of people traveling without proper tickets, and also discourage people from using cards and passes belonging to someone else.
There are still a few uncertainties, such as how the government plans on collecting the biometric data, how will it be stored securely, and which contractor will get the tender to build the system. Regardless, this will be a big step towards digitizing a highly-used sector.