The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has announced plans to move toward the implementation of biometric transit cards, making them the first transit provider in India to do so.
The system as proposed will be designed with the aim of making the ticketing process faster, reducing the number of people travelling without proper tickets, and providing discounts for student and senior passengers. It will involve the rollout of smart cards containing the biometric information of passengers, and will replace the existing smart cards currently being used by the DMRC for ticketing. These cards will not be transferrable between passengers as they will be linked to an individual biometric identity.
Under the new system, scanners will be used to capture commuters’ biometric identity and bind that information to their new smart card.
Though plans are progressing, there is still much work to be done before the new system is integrated. The government has yet to determine how the biometric data will be collected and securely stored. There also has yet to be a contract awarded for the installation of the new infrastructure that will be needed to use the new smart cards. The infrastructure is expected to be integrated into the existing fare-collection gates currently being used.
There is also still the matter of the amount of the discount intended for students and seniors, which needs to be decided by the Fare Fixation Committee (FCC). The initial plans for discounts to some passengers originated last year, when the central government established the FCC to revise metro fares and begin looking for ways to offer some sort of relief.
As is the case around the world, the use of biometric authentication is becoming increasingly common in India. Delhi International Airport recently joined airports in the U.S. and other parts by offering facial recognition check-ins as an alternative to using physical boarding passes and identification, and the country is the home of Aadhaar, the world’s most ambitious biometric national ID program.
October 31, 2019 – By Tony Bitzionis