BENGALURU: The issue of Metro commuters having to wait nearly an hour for the online recharge for smart cards to be reflected has finally been redressed. The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has recently installed 'Card Top-up Terminals' at all its stations which would ensure the online balance gets reflected immediately.
These brand new, blue-tinted machines are prominently positioned near the Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) gates at all stations.
AS Shankar, Executive Director, Operations and Maintenance, BMRCL, told The New Indian Express, "These new machines have been installed recently at all our Metro stations. Trial runs using them are almost completed everywhere. They will be fully operational in two or three days time." Boards announcing the facility would be put up at the stations very soon, he added.
These updated machines replace the existing balance top-up kiosks installed outside the Customer Care Centre cubicles of stations.
Customers expressed their relief over the move. Uttam Das, a regular commuter from Vidhana Soudha Metro station to Nagasandra, welcomed the step. "I just swiped my card on the terminal and noticed it was reflecting the online top-up," he said.
K Ashima, another commuter on her way to Jayanagar Metro station, said, "I had noticed this facility at Delhi Metro. I am really happy that our Metro has introduced it now. I remember topping up online in the past and the balance not being reflected for a long time after I reached the Metro station. This is really a welcome step."
Pratik P, a marketing executive, said the earlier problems discouraged online topping of the cards and the present step would help.
The cards though still have to be validated at any of the stations within a week. BMRCL had repeatedly stated that it took time for the AFC gates to assimilate and reflect the balance topped online due to the huge volume of data it constantly received.
Metro ridership presently averages between 2.8 lakh and 3.2 lakh commuters a day.