“Go Mumbai smart card – go anywhere in mumbai and travel smart” read the punch line of the one page leaflet that the employees of kaizen systems were aggressively distributing at Kurla station. And where it said that, there was a rubber stamp impression that said. “for central line only”.
I have been a user of the GO Mumbai smart cards, sourced by Kaizen Systems, which has been around for sometime for BEST buses. It has been I have been using the card to purchase my monthly pass for the coveted BRTS service which use the chinese chariots (read purple king long buses) and occassional red hot boxes (read the old AC buses).
A few back the same card extended its service to train ticket bookings. Much to the confusion of the commuter, the card even today is operational only on central railway. The arrangement is taking its own sweet time on western railway due to god-knows-what reason. Commuters wanting to travel from say mulund to churchgate can use the smart card for their journey only halfway till Dadar, which defeats the purpose of using the card.
What i fail to understand is when we boast of hi-tech systems that cut queues and save time, why can’t we have smooth and simultaneous implementation across the Railways? Is central and western Railway not a part of the same Indian Railways or are they as separate as Indian and Pakistani railways?
Unless we answer this question, we would just be a bundle of cards with a different machine at every station to pay with.