In a major relief to the commuters without smart cards, the Kolkata Metro Railway has decided to re-introduce the token system from 25 November. After the implementation of the lockdown in March last year, due to the outbreak of the pandemic, the city’s metro railway has been issuing only smart cards and the use of tokens has been suspended since then.
The token system in the underground transport is being resumed after a hiatus of about 20 months. According to a communication by the Kolkata Metro Railway office, tokens are going to be re-introduced in North –South and East-West Metro from Thursday. Like the pre-Covid times, the tokens will be issued from the counters of all stations. As informed by official sources, the decision to reintroduce the token system comes due to the growing demand.
During the Durga Puja festival days, the underground transport recorded 3.7 lakhs commuters on a single day. “Recently, following the resumption of local train services and re-opening of schools and colleges, the mobility in the Kolkata Metro has increased,” informed an official of the city metro. “Even though the highest passenger count on a single day has not gone above the 3.7 lakhs mark as yet, the number is hovering over 3lakh to below 3.7
Also, in the meeting held between the metro railway officials and the Metro Railway Users’ Consultative Committee (MRUCC), there were demands of re-introducing the token system,” he added. Above all, as the Covid situation in the state also appears to be under control, the underground carrier decided to resume the token system for the commuters who avail the metro service irregularly.
The authorities of Kolkata Metro, however, are still encouraging the usage of smart cards for the regular commuters.