Min balance rule to help commuters: BMRCL

The new rules came into effect on Wednesday evening and some commuters staged a protest at Malleswaram station.

Bengaluru: BMRCL’s enforcement of a new rule making it mandatory for commuters using contactless smart cards to maintain a minimum balance of Rs 50 has evoked mixed reactions. The new rules came into effect on Wednesday evening and some commuters staged a protest at Malleswaram station.

If a contactless smart card holder has a balance less Rs 50, the metro gates will not open and the passenger will not be able to access a train or exit the station.

BMRCL officials, however, argued that the new order would in fact help the commuters. A senior officer said, “People with less balance were having an issue. When they reach the destination, the gates won’t open because of low balance. They then have to rush to a ticket counter for a recharge. This was causing inconvenience for the individual commuter and others. So we brought in this rule.”

He also pointed out that this rule was enforced following suggestions from the public. “But some commuters claim it is unfair. However, as days go by they will realise that the new rule is helpful. We bring in rules keeping in mind the interest of the commuters and we also do research before implementing them,” he added.

Padmanabha, a fruit vendor, is upset with the new rule. “Why should BMRCL tell us how much balance we should have? We know when to recharge the smart cards. They bring in a rule which affects people like us, who live on daily wages. For us Rs 50 is big amount. They are behaving as if we are travelling without ticket.”

However, many commuters have welcomed the decision. Roshith R, a student and a regular metro user said, “This rule should have been implemented much earlier. Usually people do not realise that they have no sufficient balance and do not recharge at the origin station. They realise that only when they swipe their card at the destination station. This often holds up the queue and they will have to go to the ticket counter for a recharge. Fixing a minimum balance will avoid this problem.”

Roshith observed that during his daily commutes, he often comes across angry scenes at the ticket counter or help desk, because the commuters don’t have sufficient balance.

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