The flavour of Kolkata

The flavour of Kolkata
The city is known for its old alleys. One such is shot by Atanu Pal.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Life in Metro : 3 - The 'Smart' commuter

Every daily commuter was waiting for this for a painfully long time. The new Smart Card from Kolkata Metro. The authorities stopped issuing the current avatar of Smart Card long back, forcing the daily commuters to stand in painfully long queues or buy multi-ride tickets. Now, multi-riders come with their own reality, which is not palatable.

So, when the paperless travel (Switch from magnetic paper ticket to plastic tokens) was kicked off in July '11, the subsequent announcement of fresh issue of 'Smart' cards caught many like me, who suffer long queues every morning and haplessly count the no. of trains passing by before we reach the counter, in great enthusiasm. Mine was higher as I haven't ever possessed one.

The expected date of launch was missed at least once, just like the launch of the token system. Finally the newspaper report yesterday brought the day in striking distance. Metro counters for smart cards opened yesterday itself.

Changed my route midway today after dropping my elder daughter to school at Sealdah. Travelled back to get down at Dum Dum, my stop for the daily metro ride to Chandni Chowk. The queue (only for smart cards) was as long as that of regular tickets any other day. But, fine, it was going to be the last pain before a long relief. Quickly took down the 'Must know' info of a smart card from fellow commuters, and ended up at the counter after a wait of 35 minutes. Bought the long desired object costing Rs 100 (with an usage value of Rs 120 and a validity of 30 days). in Kolkata Metro will be different now.


  1. Can you please post the "must know" info you gleaned from fellow passengers since it's very difficult to find out anything from the counter given the long queues and irate passengers. Is there a minimum required to buy a smart card. Is there any validity period, what happens if I am not being able to spend the minimum amount within the validity period ?

    Thanks and kind regards,

    Projjwal Ghosh

  2. Projjwal, thanks for asking it here.

    Well, you need to pay a refundable security deposit of Rs 100 for any denomination of Smart Card - Rs 100 / 200 / 500 or others apart from the card value of your choice. You get it back when you surrender your card.

    And thankfully the validity period has recently been hugely extended and made uniform for all cards. It's ONE YEAR now. So, no sweat for tracking it regularly. Just recharge your card when the balance gets low and enjoy life at Kolkata Metro.

    Other things that might help you are : a. You get an additional value over your card cost. I recharge for Rs 100 and get a value of Rs 120. It gets proportionately higher with higher denominations.
    b. You are charged Re 1 less for every ride. That's a real wow!

    Do come back if you have more queries. Me a novice too, as you know. But will try and answer you.


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