HomeMetroHow to Buy, Recharge, and Check Balance on Chennai Metro Smart Card

How to Buy, Recharge, and Check Balance on Chennai Metro Smart Card

The Chennai Metro has transformed public transport in the city by providing a world-class, efficient, and comfortable rapid transit system. Traveling on the metro is made very easy and hassle-free through the use of rechargeable Smart Cards.

In this comprehensive guide, we will look at the detailed process of how to buy a new Chennai Metro smart card, recharge/top up the card, check the balance, and other useful information.

Source: Tech Lab

Buying a New Chennai Metro Smart Card

Purchasing a new smart card for the Chennai Metro is a very easy and quick process. Here are the step-by-step procedures to buy one:

1. Visit Any Chennai Metro Station

The first step is to visit any metro station that has a dedicated ticket counter or a Smart Card counter. Some of the major stations where you can easily find these counters include Chennai Airport, Chennai Central, Thirumangalam, Koyambedu, etc. Locate the appropriate counter at the station.

2. Approach the Ticket/Smart Card Counter

Go to the ticket counter or the Smart Card counter and inform the metro staff that you need to purchase a new smart card. The counters are usually located near the main gates of the metro station.

3. Specify the Type of Smart Card

Tell the metro staff about what type of smart card you want to buy. Chennai Metro offers different types of smart cards like – Regular Smart Cards, Tourist Smart Cards and Student Smart Cards. Choose the appropriate one based on your needs.

4. Fill the Application Form

The staff will provide you with a Smart Card application form to fill out. You will need to provide essential personal details like your full name, contact number, address, identity proof number, passport-sized photo (if required), etc. Ensure you fill correct details.

5. Select Initial Amount to be Loaded

While buying the new card, you also need to select the initial amount that you wish to load on the card wallet. Chennai Metro allows a minimum ₹100 and a maximum ₹2000 to be loaded at the time of purchase. Choose as per your requirements.

6. Make the Payment

Once you fill out the application form and choose the load amount, you have to make the payment. The payment can be done via cash debit/credit cards or mobile wallets. The total amount payable would be – the cost of a smart card (₹100 or ₹50 for students) + load amount + refundable security deposit of ₹50.

7. Collect the New Smart Card

After completing the purchase process, you will be handed over the new Chennai Metro Smart Card. Please ensure that you collect the card along with the receipt of the purchase. Keep this receipt safe as it may be required later.

8. Activate and Load Value

Before the new smart card can be used, it needs to be activated. This can be done at the ticket counter itself. If you have not loaded the card wallet at the time of purchase, you can do so at the recharge machines available in metro stations. Just follow the on-screen instructions while loading the value.

Documents Required to Buy Chennai Metro Smart Card

To buy a new smart card, you need to carry certain documents. Here are the key documents required:

  • Identity Proof: Any government-approved photo ID proof like an Aadhaar Card, Driving License, PAN Card, Passport, etc. It should be original.
  • Photograph: Some metro stations may require a recent passport-size photograph at the time of filling out the application form. Keep one handy.
  • Age Proof (for senior citizen card): If you are purchasing the Senior Citizen Smart Card, carry age proof like a PAN Card, Passport, Driver’s License, etc.
  • Student ID Card (for student card): For getting the Student Metro Smart Card, carry a valid College/School ID card or any other bonafide proof of being a student.

How to Recharge Chennai Metro Smart Card

After purchasing the card, it needs to be recharged or topped up to travel on the metro. There are multiple options to recharge your Chennai Metro Smart Card:

Online Recharge

  • Visit Chennai Metro’s official website or mobile app
  • Login using your smart card details
  • Go to the ‘Recharge Card’ section
  • Enter 16-digit smart card number, registered mobile number (optional)
  • Select the recharge amount and make an online payment via cards, UPI, net banking, etc.

Metro Station Recharge

  • Go to the ticket counter at any metro station.
  • Handover your smart card and specify the recharge amount.
  • Make payment in cash or card at the counter.
  • Alternatively, go to the automated recharge machines at stations.
  • Select the recharge amount, make payment, and complete the process.

Mobile App Recharge

  • Download Chennai Metro’s mobile app (available on Android and iOS)
  • Register your smart card details on the app
  • Go to the ‘Recharge’ feature, select the amount, and make payment by linking your cards/bank account

No matter which recharge method you use, the process is very fast and the recharged amount gets added to your metro smart card instantly.

Checking Balance in Chennai Metro Smart Card

It’s important to keep track of the balance in your metro smart card, so you can recharge it accordingly. Here are simple ways to check balance:

At the Metro Station

  • Go to any metro station ticket counter or customer care desk
  • Show your smart card to the staff
  • Request them to check your balance
  • The staff will swipe your card on the system and inform you of the remaining balance

Recharge Machines

  • Go to self-service recharge machines installed at metro stations
  • Swipe your smart card on the machine
  • The display screen will show your card’s balance

Mobile App

  • Open Chennai Metro’s mobile app
  • Login to your account and go to ‘Card Details’
  • The wallet balance is displayed here. Tap to refresh.

Ticket Vending Machines

  • Swipe your smart card at the Ticket Vending Machines.
  • The screen will show your current balance.
  • Do not proceed with ticket booking if you just want to check the balance.

Checking balance regularly before your metro trip ensures your smart card always has sufficient balance for your journey.

Metro Smart Card Validity

The Chennai Metro Smart Cards come with a validity period. Regular smart cards are valid for 5 years from the date of issuance. Tourist cards have a validity of 15 days while student smart cards are valid for 3 years. You can renew the validity by paying the applicable fees at metro stations.

Safety Tips for Metro Smart Cards

  • Avoid keeping it in your wallet or purse. Keep it separate to avoid damage.
  • Do not fold or bend the smart card repeatedly.
  • Keep it away from magnetic devices or mobile phones to prevent data loss.
  • Carry your card carefully while traveling to avoid misplacing it.
  • Never share your smart card or reveal your card details/PIN to anyone.
  • Inform metro officials immediately if you lose your card. It can be blocked to prevent misuse.

Other Features of Chennai Metro Smart Cards

  • Smart cards can be easily purchased, recharged, and renewed at all metro stations.
  • It allows quick, contactless entry by just tapping on the metro gates.
  • Automatic fare deduction makes travel very convenient.
  • It can be also used for parking charges at metro stations wherever applicable.
  • Senior citizens get a 50% discount by using senior citizen smart cards.
  • Students get a subsidized smart card and special fares on showing their student ID.
  • Tourists can avail unlimited travel by using tourist card for the validity period.

Chennai Metro Smart Cards make commuting seamless. Follow this guide to buy a new card, recharge it hassle-free and keep track of the balance. It’s the fastest and most convenient ticketing option for regular metro commuters.

How to Check Metro Card Balance

Step 1: Head to the nearest CMRL (Chennai Metro Rail Limited) Metro Station.

Step 2: Insert your Chennai metro card into the Ticket Readers (TRs) at the station.

Step 3: The screen on the TR will display your card’s current balance information.

Step 4: Note that online balance-checking services are currently not available for Chennai Metro cards, so you’ll need to physically visit a station to check the balance.

Step 5: Some additional tips:

  • The TR screens will show the remaining value on your card in Indian Rupees.
  • You can check the balance anytime before or after your journey. 
  • If you have any issues or questions, you can also approach the station attendants for assistance.
Is metro available 24 hrs in Chennai?

No, Chennai Metro does not operate 24 hours a day. The first train starts at 5:30 AM from Washermanpet and the last train is at 10 PM from the Airport station. Operating hours are from 5:30 AM to 10 PM daily.

Is Chennai Metro free on Sunday?

No, Chennai Metro requires you to purchase a ticket even on Sundays. There is no free travel day on the metro. Fares range from Rs 10 to Rs 60 depending on distance travelled. You can use a smart card to get a 10% discount on fares.

How many routes does Chennai Metro have?

As of 2024, Chennai Metro has 2 operational routes – the Blue Line from Washermanpet to Airport covering 45 stations and the Green Line from Chennai Central to St.Thomas Mount covering 9 stations. Two more routes are under construction – Corridor 3 from Madhavaram to SIPCOT and Corridor 4 from Lighthouse to Poonamallee.

Who owns Chennai Metro?

Chennai Metro is owned by Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL), a joint venture of the Government of India and Government of Tamil Nadu. CMRL is responsible for the implementation and operations of the metro in Chennai.

Hey there! I'm Chakkaravarthy, a passion for sharing blog posts that make navigating through detailed hospital profiles a breeze. My goal is to provide you with insights into specialties, facilities, and contact details in the simplest way possible. Email: digichakkara@gmail.com


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here