With the implementation of the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS corridor, the team of the National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) is all set to bring in the country’s first Regional Rail on time and provide a transformational transit mode for the people of NCR. I am confident that we will be able to operationalize the Priority Section of this first RRTS corridor, Sahibabad to Duhai (5 stations), early next year.
With our commuter-first approach, we have ensured that from stations to trains provisions are made to take care of the needs of the commuters for comfortable regional travel. For ensuring large-scale adoption of new-age transit systems by the public we are focusing on comfort, safety, affordability, and reliability for the commuters.
Out of many unique features incorporated in the country’s first RRTS, one is the provision of a ‘Premium Class’ coach on every train. This dedicated coach will be accessible through a Premium Lounge on the station platform from where the commuters can board. This is an initiative to encourage commuters, currently travelling in their personal vehicles, to switch to RRTS without making any compromise on comfort. This modal shift shall add to the ultimate objective of reduction in the congestion on roads.
Access to Premium Lounge will be controlled using a Double-Tap functionality implemented in the RRTS Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) System, which is being done for the first time in the country and perhaps first in the world.
The AFC system being implemented by NCRTC is also in line with the Government of India’s vision for achieving the goal of ‘#OneNationOneCard’ via the National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) standard for all transport modes providing a hassle-free commuting experience to the public at large.
The RRTS AFC system will have gates at two levels at the stations – The concourse level and the Platform level. Concourse level gates will allow commuters to access the paid area at the Concourse and the standard class boarding area at the Platform level. Platform level gates at the entrance to the Premium Lounge will allow access to the ‘Premium Class' area.
For travelling in the ‘Premium Class’ commuters will need to follow some very simple steps:
i. Purchase a ticket from the station (Ticket Vending Machine or Ticket Office Machine) or via Mobile-APP. A commuter can also use an NCMC card.
ii. Tap the fare media (QR/NCMC Card) at the entry AFC-gate in the Concourse and enter the paid area.
iii. At Platform, tap the fare media for the second time on the Platform-AFC gate and enter the ‘Premium Class’ lounge.
iv. Commuters can now board the ‘Premium Class’ coach.
v. At the completion of the journey, the commuter will alight in the Premium Lounge at the Platform and tap the fare media on the Platform-AFC gate to proceed towards the Concourse.
vi. At Concourse, the commuter will tap the fare media for the second time to exit the station paid area.
The commuters who use e-wallets with the AFC card will have the flexibility to decide the class of travel after reaching the platform. In case a commuter intends to travel using QR media, then he/she will have to decide the class of the journey and purchase the required ticket accordingly.
With our industry partners Datamatics & Paytm, who are leaders in their respective domains, team NCRTC is successfully implementing this state-of-the-art AFC system to provide a seamless commuter experience on the country’s first RRTS corridor. This transit model would be used for the other upcoming RRTS corridors as well. This new-age AFC system is yet another domain, where I am confident that our team will set benchmarks for the industry at large and provide a simple yet effective model for our peers to replicate.