NFC technology for Kochi metro
The proposed introduction of discounted daily, weekend and monthly passes (tourist cards) for travel in Kochi metro will be followed by the induction of the near field communication (NFC) technology that will enable commuters to just walk into Kochi metro, buses and ferries. It is under development for RuPay cards. RBI norms binding on it are awaited and its technicalities have to be designed based on the norms. The software for offering discounts is being tested by Axis Bank and will be announced in two or three months.
All these will closely follow the installation of GPS in private buses that operate in the district. Kochi-1 prepaid smart cards will be enabled for inter-modal use in another five months, since Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) devices have to be installed in buses operating in Greater Kochi area after they are fitted with GPS. The Kochi-1 journey planner app too is on the anvil. The KMRL and Axis Bank will jointly bring out discounted season tickets, a prepaid option using Kochi-1 cards currently in vogue, which can be used for a specified number of trips. Once ready, commuters will be able to avail more than the 20% discount that users of prepaid cards now get.
The KMRL had also announced the introduction of monthly passes in January, using which commuters could avail up to 40% discount on fares for 60 trips. Commuters purchasing the cards were also to get discounts on parking fee.