Minimum balance for a Bangalore Metro smartcard fixed at Rs 50
An enraged passenger wanted to know why he should maintain a balance of Rs 50 when many of his trips cost less than Rs 25.
The minimum balance to be maintained in contactless smartcards which commuters carry for Metro travel was fixed by the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) at Rs 50, on Wednesday. This means if the balance on your card is any less Metro station gates won't open.
"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," said BMRCL chief public relations officer BL Yeshavanth Chavan, in a media circular.
Although BMRCL appealed that the hiking of minimum balance (from Rs 8 to Rs 50) was to guarantee hassle-free travel, many passengers have expressed disapproval about the move. A set of commuters staged a flash protest before Malleswaram Metro station, demanding BMRCL withdraw the rule, on Wednesday evening.
An enraged passenger wanted to know why he should maintain a balance of Rs 50 when many of his trips cost less than Rs 25. "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," said a commuter.
A senior official with the Metro had another justification for the new rule. "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," he added.
With Metro already having sold about 15 lakh smartcards, Rs 50 minimum balance means Rs 7.5 core in its kitty at any given point of time.