Bengaluru’s Namma Metro raises minimum balance for smart card to Rs 50

“People were misusing the minimum balance,” said BMRCL justifying the hike in the minimum balance.
Bengaluru’s Namma Metro raises minimum balance for smart card to Rs 50
Bengaluru’s Namma Metro raises minimum balance for smart card to Rs 50

If you’re a citizen of Bengaluru and use the metro regularly, you most probably have a smart card that you use. However, commuters now need to have a minimum balance of Rs 50 on their cards when they enter a station, according to new rules which came into effect on Wednesday evening.

“In order to avoid inconvenience to the metro commuters for topping up the contactless smart card at the destination stations, the minimum balance on the card henceforth has to be a minimum of Rs 50 at the originating station. This has come into effect from the evening of 27th March 2019,” the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL), which runs the Namma Metro, said in a press release. It also asked commuters top up their cards online.

The minimum balance was earlier at Rs 8.50. “People were misusing the minimum balance. There was a recurring problem as some people always used to travel with low balance and claim that ‘I don’t have money’ or ‘I don’t have cash or card’ at the destination station. Often there would be altercations between the metro staff and commuters. This would also cause inconvenience to other metro users,” Yashwant Chavan, BMRCL’s chief spokesperson told TNM.

“Daily we would get minimum 22-25 complaints about these at our customer care centres. Now with Rs 50 you can travel without any hassles. Often, we would allow customers to go without paying on humanitarian grounds but this started being a daily affair. Even metro staff often would pay on customer’s behalf,” he added.

The announcement, which caught many commuters unaware, also did not go down well on social media. Commuters wanted to know what would happen to the last Rs 50 on their metro card, and why the minimum balance was so high when a ride to the next station costs only Rs 8.50, with one person even calling it a “daylight robbery”. Many were also annoyed with the metro for not being informed about the change earlier and landed up at the metro station with a smart card balance which was less than Rs 50.

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