Bangalore Metro passengers can now recharge their smartcards through automatic top-up machines at major stations. The move is expected to reduce long queues at counters to recharge smartcards. Currently, commuters must either visit the counters or use the web top-up facility to recharge their smartcards.
In 2012, BMRCL installed ticket-vending machines at major stations like MG Road, Indiranagar and Byappanahalli. However, the machines which were meant to help passengers get tokens or recharge smartcards became dysfunctional after demonetisation since they were not recalibrated to accept new notes.
Now, the old machines are back in a new avatar. Shankar AS, executive director (operations), BMRCL, said: “The old machines have been upgraded with new software and recalibrated. However, this will only allow top-up of smart cards, while the earlier version had allowed passengers to get tokens.”
He said the minimum recharge amount will be Rs 50 and its multiples. “More than 60% Metro passengers are smartcard users. The new version is less-cumbersome and more user-friendly,” he claimed. The machines have been set up in Majestic interchange (two), Byappanahalli (two) and one each at MG Road and Indiranagar. “We are planning to install a few more based on public response,” said Shankar.
Passengers hope the machines will help them recharge their smartcards without standing in a queue at counters. There are also complaints against Metro staffers having issues with returning the balance amount, citing lack of change. The BMRCL website is down most of the time and staffers at counters often do not have change, passengers claimed.