City passengers in Chennai will soon be able to use a single card to take the Metro and MTC busses, thanks to a single smart card or a common mobility card to be launched by Metro officials by the end of the year.
A metro rail official told TOI that the card has been tested at metro stations and MTC's electronic ticketing machines. The testing of the smart card for compatibility is being done by upgrading hardware and software.
Officials also stated that electronic ticketing machines used by MTC conductors at present already have a hardware in place that can read and scan smart cards and the only thing that needs to be done is to upgrade the software and make it compatible with the system.
The contactless cards used at metro stations have a magnetic strip in which information such as the station code and amount recharge will be stored. When the commuter enters a station and uses the card, the station code will be encrypted in it. On exiting a station, the distance traveled will be calculated based on the code and the amount will be deducted.
Similar cards are used in metro station parking lots and MTC buses.
According to reports, the state has plans to integrate all state-run transport services to the common mobility card and the MTC - Metro connection is just the start.