London’s Lord Mayor Alderman Michael Bear, on a recent tour of Mumbai with a high level business delegation, has expressed a desire to finance the metropolis’ infrastructure projects. At a meeting at the MMRDA office, the Authority’s Metropolitan Commissioner, Rahul Asthana and the Mayor discussed Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link, the seven proposed Metro lines and the Multi-Modal Corridor projects. The meeting, which had twelve delegates, was also attended by the British Deputy High Commissioner Peter Beckingham.
The 22km and 6-lane Trans-Harbour link will not only reduce the travel time from Sewri to Nhava from three hours to a mere 30 minutes, it will also save the traveling distance by 50km and afford faster connectivity to the New International Airport. A 126km multi-modal corridor, from Virar to Alibaug, has been recommended by the Comprehensive Transport Study.
The Authority is also looking at ways of implementing a smart card option for travelling in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. The SmartCard, which can be used for all traveling needs such as travel by bus, local trains, Metro Rail, Mono Rail, toll payment, parking, etc., is for commuters’ convenience. The focus remains on the inclusiveness, affordability and reliability of such SmartCards.
Oyster (London), MetroCard (New York), Public Transportation Card (Shanghai), Octopus (Hong Kong) and T-Money (Seoul) are the five most popular and successful SmartCard in the world. For the regular season commuters, a personalised card with separate identity card was recommended while a daily pass or coupon was decided upon for the non-regular commuters. Registration options will be kept open for one-time commuter and daily pass holder. Since not all commuters use all modes of transport, there would be separate cards for each mode while for those using all the modes, a SmartCard could be issued. The cards would be made using Mifare DESFire EV1, a technology that is being used for London’s Oyster Card. It can accommodate additional products as and when the need occurs. It also promises highest security standard.