Difference Between MRT Pass and Rapid Pass in Bangladesh [Detail]

Dhaka Post Desk

Senior Reporter

19 November 2023, 06:01 pm

Difference Between MRT Pass and Rapid Pass in Bangladesh [Detail]

The inauguration of the MRT-6 metro rail line in December 2022 marked the beginning of a new era in public transportation for Dhaka city. For the first time, residents could experience fast, efficient, and comfortable metro rail transit. Along with the launch of the metro rail, two transit passes were also introduced - the MRT Pass and the Rapid Pass. There has been some confusion among commuters about the difference between these two passes and their usage. This article aims to provide a comprehensive explanation of the MRT Pass and Rapid Pass, their features, where they can be used, and how they benefit commuters.

What is the MRT Pass?

The MRT Pass is a reusable smartcard pass specifically for the MRT-6 metro rail line in Dhaka. It allows quick, cashless entry through the automated fare gates at MRT stations.

To use the MRT Pass, commuters simply tap their card on the fare reader at the metro station gates. The applicable fare is automatically deducted from the stored value in the pass. When the pass expires or runs out of stored value, it can be recharged by paying the applicable fee at the ticket counter.

  • Convenience - No need to buy paper tickets every time. Tap and go through the gates quickly.
  • Cost Savings - Pass holders get a 10% discount on the per journey fare. The more you travel, the more you save.
  • Security - The pass has an owner photo and unique ID for identification. If lost, the balance can be transferred to a new card.

What is the Rapid Pass?

The Rapid Pass is a common mobility smartcard introduced by the Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA). It is envisioned as an interoperable card that can be used seamlessly across different public transport modes in Dhaka. The Rapid Pass is NFC-enabled and contains an embedded microchip to store fare value and trip details.

Some key features of the Rapid Pass are:

  • Interoperability - Can be used across bus, metro rail, future BRT, railway, and ferry services in Dhaka.
  • Stored Value - Cashless payment deducted automatically when tapped. Can be recharged easily.
  • Trip History - Contains log of all trips, stations, and fares.
  • Security - Owner photo and unique ID. Report lost card to block usage.
  • Discounts - Special discounted fares for students, seniors, and frequent commuters.

Future integration is planned with DNCC buses, Bangladesh Railway, and Dhaka Elevated Expressway toll collection.

How to obtain the MRT Pass and Rapid Pass?

Getting an MRT Pass:

The MRT Pass can be obtained by visiting the ticket counters at any operating MRT-6 metro stations. Currently, the open stations are:

  • Uttara North
  • Pallabi
  • Mirpur 10
  • Agargaon

To get an MRT Pass, commuters need to fill out an application form and submit photocopies of a national ID card and a passport size photo. The pass fee must be paid and the activated pass card is handed out immediately. Recharging an existing MRT Pass is also done at station ticket counters.

Getting a Rapid Pass:

The Rapid Pass can be obtained through two channels currently:

  • Select branches of Dutch Bangla Bank - Commuters can fill out an application with required documents and photo to get a new Rapid Pass or recharge an existing one.
  • Rapid Pass desks at Uttara North and Agargaon MRT stations - Same application process done here to obtain or recharge a Rapid Pass.

More banks and other outlets will provide Rapid Pass service in the future. The DTCA also plans to install ticket vending machines for convenient self-service recharging of Rapid Passes.

When should you get an MRT Pass instead of a Rapid Pass?

The MRT Pass is ideal if you:

  • Only travel frequently by the metro rail, and not by bus.
  • Prefer the convenience and queues of only needing to top-up your pass at metro rail stations.
  • Like the security of having your photo attached to your transit pass.

When should you get a Rapid Pass instead of an MRT Pass?

The Rapid Pass is better if you:

  • Use a combination of metro, bus, and future transport modes like BRT, train, or ferry.
  • Don't travel fixed days per month, so a stored value card suits your variable commute needs.
  • Prefer the wider network of banks, shops, machines etc. to recharge your pass in future.
  • Don't want to stand in long queues at MRT stations for pass-related services.

How to use the MRT Pass and Rapid Pass?

Using the MRT Pass:

  1. Approach the fare gates at the MRT station entrance.
  2. Tap your MRT Pass on the card reader mounted on the gates.
  3. The fare reader will display the pass details, expiry, and deduct the fare for the journey.
  4. Once approved, the fare gate will automatically open to allow entry.
  5. Follow the same tapping process at exit gates at destination station.

Using the Rapid Pass:

  1. When boarding a metro train, tap the Rapid Pass on the fare reader at the gates, same as the MRT Pass.
  2. On buses, tap the pass on the conductor's hand-held reader when boarding.
  3. The reader displays your Rapid Pass balance. Conductor presses to deduct fare.
  4. Display shows updated balance and logs trip details.
  5. Tap card again when disembarking bus to record trip completion.

Important things to remember

  • Register your pass to prevent misuse if lost. Report immediately if lost.
  • Don't tamper with or damage the cards. Can result in card blockage.
  • Renew MRT Passes before expiry dates to continue seamless usage.
  • Check pass history on readers or DTCA website to verify correct fares deducted.
  • Seek assistance from station staff if encountering any issues while using passes.

FAQs About Difference Between MRT Pass and Rapid Pass

Q: How is the MRT Pass different from the Rapid Pass?

A: The MRT Pass is a dedicated smartcard for the metro rail, while the Rapid Pass is an interoperable common mobility card for multiple transport modes.

Q: Where can I recharge my Rapid Pass?

A: Currently at select DBBL branches and the MRT station booths. More outlets will be added soon.

Q: Can I use MRT Pass to ride the bus?

A: No, the MRT Pass only works on the metro rail currently. For bus, you need a Rapid Pass.

Q: I have monthly MRT pass. Can I use BRTC buses free?

A: No, the MRT monthly pass is valid only for unlimited metro rides. You need to get Rapid Pass for bus usage.

Q: Is there any registration process for the passes?

A: Yes, you need to provide ID proof and photos when obtaining both passes for the first time. This links it to your identity.

Q: Where can I see the trip history made using my transit pass?

A: The transaction logs are visible on pass readers at metro gates or bus validators. You can also check at dtca.gov.bd.

Q: What if my MRT or Rapid Pass gets damaged? Can I transfer the balance?

A: Yes, visit the customer service counter to report damage. They will transfer your pass balance to a new replacement card.

Q: How can I provide feedback or report issues faced using the passes?

A: You can use the Dhaka Transport app, visit dtca.gov.bd or call the 24x7 helpline 16345 to report feedback, issues or complaints.

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