From now onwards, commuters traveling by metro and carrying contactless Metro smart card will have to ensure that the minimum balance in their card is at least Rs. 50.
The announcement regarding minimum balance for the smart metro card was recently made by the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL).
It also means that the gates of the Metro Station will not open if the balance in the card is below Rs.50. The officials made this announcement at the MG Road Station and Vidhana Soudha stating that the new rule will come into effect immediately.
Decision To Save Hassles For Metro Commuters, Says Officials
According to the Chief Public Relations Officer at BMRCL, BL Yeshavanth Chavan, “In order to save Metro commuters the inconvenience of having to top up their smartcards at destination stations, the minimum balance on a card henceforth has to be Rs 50 at the originating station. This has come into effect from the evening of March 27, 2019.”
It is quite a shocking decision for the metro commuters because prior to this hike the minimum balance requirement was only Rs. 8. So almost six times increase in minimum balance amount has met with disapproval from the commuters.
Commuters even protested before the Malleswaram Metro Station and demanded that BMRCL should withdraw this rule. One of the commuters even asked why it was necessary for him to maintain a balance of Rs.50 when he needs only Rs.25 to complete his trips.
The commuter said, “If we allow this to happen, the corporation will further hike the deposit in the coming days. Though we staged a protest, no BMRCL official came to hear our grievances.”
Arguments With Staff Regarding Balance Led To Hike In Minimum Balance
Even though regular metro commuters from Bangalore are not at all happy with this hike in the minimum balance for a smart metro card, the officials have their own justification.
According to an official, “We have had many cases of commuters with low balance on their cards getting into arguments with our staff when they were told to pay the remaining balance at exit gates. Commuters are requested to note the change. They may also use the BMRCL web top-up facility for hassle-free travel.”
BMRCL To Gain Rs. 7.5 Crore Through Hike
At present, there are around 5 lakh metro smart card users in Bengaluru. So hike of minimum balance to Rs. 50 will mean BMRCL will get Rs.7.5 crore in its account at one go.
BMRCL has already stated that the decision has been made with the best interest of commuters in mind. But at least as of now, the metro smart card holders do not seem to think so.