Going for a movie or an interview and want to safely keep your handbag or cameras for few hours at some place? Well, Delhi Metro commuters can do that now by renting digital lockers at 50 of its stations through a new mobile app launched on Wednesday.
The app -- 'Momentum 2.0' -- also allows commuters to do online purchasing from listed e-commerce companies through 'virtual stores' located at 20 metro stations, send a courier via a smart box (digi-locker) and buy QR code-based tickets. Delhi Metro is the first mass rapid transit system in the country to introduce such facilities for commuters, officials said.
The mobile application seeks to enhance experience of metro riders beyond travelling. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) plans to expand the 'virtual stores' and 'digi-lockers' facilities to majority of its stations by June 2024.
Delhi Metro's network span 393 kilometres with 288 stations, including the Noida-Greater Noida corridor and the Rapid Metro in Gurugram.
The app was formally launched by DMRC's Managing Director, Vikas Kumar at the Shivaji Stadium metro station.
PTI in February 2022 had reported on this project when it was in its infancy stage and the DMRC had hired a consulting firm to work on the plan.
Using 'Momentum 2.0', which can be downloaded on both Android and iOS phones, a commuter can rent a 'smart box' (digi-locker) at any of the 50 stations on Lines 1-7 and the Airport Line, on the go.
These stations include, Rajiv Chowk, Millennium City Centre Gurugram, Dwarka Sector 10, Supreme Court, Pul Bangash, Netaji Subhash Place, Shaheed Sthal (New Bus Adda), Dilshad Garden, Noida City Centre, Anand Vihar, Tughlakabad, Sarita Vihar, Moolchand and IP Extension.
"Using this app, a person can rent a locker at any of these stations, from a minimum of one hour and up to six hours. Penal amount will be charged if the time limit exceeds beyond the period for which the digi-locker has been rented," Anurag Bajpai, founder of AutoPe Payment Solution, told PTI.
The new app, a joint initiative of Delhi Metro and AutoPe Payment Solutions, seeks to provide seamless access to metro rides while making the commute time count.
"Think of these digi-lockers akin to the 'cloak room' facility provide at stations of the Indian Railways, but the metro facility is driven by an app powered by a cutting-edge digital platform, which enhances the experience of riders while allowing them an option to do more than travel all while on the go," a senior official of the DMRC told PTI.
These 'smart boxes' have been installed in a grid format and each station has a set of 83-90 digital lockers, with a console at the centre.
"For renting a digi-locker, a user will have to go to the interface of the app, which shows the option of 'rent-a-locker', and once it is pressed, it asks the user to select a metro station, date, time, and duration of renting in number of hours, and locker size - small (Rs. 20 per hour), medium (Rs. 30 per hour) or large (Rs. 40 per hour), and the available time slots," Bajpai said.
After payment, a PIN number will be generated which will be displayed on the app interface, and which will be valid for both drop and pick-up of a package.
For dropping a package, a user will have to choose the 'drop package' tab from the home page of the console, and then after entering the authorised PIN, the digi-locker will open automatically, without any manual intervention, Bajpai said.
There is no physical lock or key in this system, it is all a digital platform-driven system, he said.
For making online purchase from a 'virtual store', a user needs to scan a QR code displayed on a wall of the set up at a metro station, and then it will ask for the station at which the delivery is to be made.
"After scanning the code, the item on sale will be displayed, and then payment can be done and the destination station needs to be mentioned where the item will be delivered. It will be kept in a digi-locker from which it can be picked up by the buyer later," another senior official of the AutoPe Payment Solutions said.
For using the courier service, a user can choose the service from the app, and mention the address where a courier needs to be sent and then choose the station where it is being deposited, Bajpai said.
The courier will then by picked by the partner courier agency, so a user won't have to go to a post office or a courier agency, and the package will be delivered at its destination, he said, adding, "the future plan is to have a hyperlocal courier delivery, wherein a courier can be picked up by the recipient from a metro station only on the same day when it is delivered".
The app also offers option to buy QR code-based tickets for all metro lines, including the Airport Line, eliminating the need of multiple apps in turn enhancing user experience, the DMRC said.
In addition, Delhi Metro smart card's recharging as well as transaction details can also be seen in the app. There is also an option for commuters to give standing instructions in the app for 'auto top-up' in case the balance falls below a minimum defined value, it said.
Users will also be able to pay utility bills such as electricity bills, gas bills, mobile bills, DTH bills, FASTag payment, etc easily, the DMRC added.
At a metro station, the app also provides station-related information, along with details of location of facilities, gates, lifts, escalators, platforms and first and last train timings. As the time of arrival is based on the destination, a bike or cab can be made ready to receive a passenger at the exact time in the designated area, officials said.
Food outlets or ATMs can also be located with the app. Also, it offers information on shops, outlets, kiosks, and ATMs available at metro stations, they said.
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