You want to know the Difference Between MRT Pass and Rapid Pass. The inauguration of the Dhaka Metro Rail transit system in December 2022 marked a major milestone for public transportation in Bangladesh. The 20.1km MRT Line-6 from Uttara to Motijheel rapidly became popular with commuters looking to avoid Dhaka’s notorious traffic jams. However, two types of passes for the metro have caused some confusion – the MRT Pass and the Rapid Pass. This article will explain the key differences between these passes and who should get each one.
What is the MRT Pass?
The MRT Pass is a rechargeable smartcard specifically for riding the Dhaka Metro Rail system. It allows quick, cashless entry through the automated gates at metro stations. The MRT Pass comes in several varieties:
- 1-day Pass – 300 BDT. Valid for unlimited rides on the day of purchase.
- 3-day Pass – 600 BDT. Valid for 3 consecutive days from first use.
- Weekly Pass – 1000 BDT. Valid for 7 consecutive days from first use.
- Monthly Pass – 2000 BDT. Valid for 30 consecutive days from first use.
To get an MRT Pass, simply visit any Dhaka Metro Rail ticket counter or vending machine at stations currently in operation, including Uttara North, Uttara Centre, Uttara South, Pallabi, Mirpur 10, Mirpur 11, Kazipara, Shewrapara, Agargaon, and Motijheel.
Pay the required fare and provide your photograph to have your personalized MRT Pass card issued instantly. Then simply tap the card on the entry gates to pass through and ride the metro. When the pass expires, you can recharge it by paying the applicable fare again.
The MRT Pass is valid only for Dhaka Metro Rail rides. It cannot currently be used on BRTC buses or any other mode of transport. The card remains the property of Dhaka Metro Rail and is non-transferable.
What is the Rapid Pass?
The Rapid Pass is a new universal transit pass launched by the Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA) to integrate Dhaka’s public transport system. The contactless smartcard can be used to pay for trips on:
- Dhaka Metro Rail Line-6
- BRTC buses on the Uttara-Diabari route
In future, the Rapid Pass is intended to be valid for trips on:
- All Dhaka city buses (DNCC & DSCC)
- Bangladesh Railway local trains
- Dhaka Elevated Expressway tolls
The Rapid Pass is available in the following denominations:
- 150 BDT – Minimum amount for activation.
- 300 BDT
- 500 BDT
- 1000 BDT
- 1500 BDT
- 2000 BDT
- 3000 BDT
To obtain a Rapid Pass, visit any of the following locations:
- Dutch-Bangla Bank ATM Centers
- Rapid Pass Sales Counters at Uttara North, Uttara Center, Agargaon and Motijheel metro stations
- BRTC Terminals at Mohakhali, Motijheel, Sayedabad and Gabtali
Submit an ID card and photograph to activate your personalized Rapid Pass card on the spot. Then tap the card on metro gates or bus validators to deduct the fare. When the balance runs low, simply top up the card at any Dutch-Bangla Bank branch or designated sales counters.
The Rapid Pass offers 10% discount on metro fares and 5% discount on BRTC bus fares. It also saves the need to stand in long ticket queues and ensures smooth transfers between transport modes.
Key Differences between the Passes
While the MRT Pass and Rapid Pass may look similar, there are some important distinctions:
- MRT Pass works only for Dhaka Metro Rail rides
- Rapid Pass works on metro and designated BRTC buses currently, with more transport modes to be added
- MRT Pass at metro stations
- Rapid Pass at DBBL, metro stations, BRTC terminals
- MRT Pass valid for 1, 3, 7 or 30 days from first use
- Rapid Pass valid while loaded balance remains
- MRT Pass does not offer any fare discounts
- Rapid Pass gives 10% off metro fares, 5% off BRTC bus
- MRT Pass remains property of Dhaka Metro Rail
- Rapid Pass remains property of card holder
- MRT Pass is non-transferable
- Rapid Pass can be transferred to another user
Who Should Get Each Pass?
So which pass is better for you? Here are some tips:
Get the MRT Pass if:
- You will only use the Dhaka Metro Rail system.
- You want the convenience of unlimited rides for a fixed duration.
- You don’t mind paying full fixed fares without discounts.
Get the Rapid Pass if:
- You will use metro rail plus BRTC buses regularly.
- You want the flexibility to top up whenever needed.
- You wish to get fare discounts through integration.
- You may transfer the card to family members or colleagues.
For most regular commuters, the Rapid Pass offers more benefits through fare discounts and multimodal integration. But occasional metro riders may find the MRT Pass simpler and more economical.
Both passes eliminate the need to buy paper tickets every time and facilitate a smoother transit experience. As more transport services get incorporated, the Rapid Pass will become the ultimate mobility solution around Dhaka.
FAQs About Difference Between MRT Pass and Rapid Pass
Here are some common queries about the MRT and Rapid Passes:
Can I use the MRT Pass on BRTC buses?
No, the MRT Pass is currently valid only for Dhaka Metro Rail rides. It cannot be used on BRTC buses. For that, you need a Rapid Pass.
Where can I buy a Rapid Pass?
You can purchase a Rapid Pass at select Dutch-Bangla Bank ATM Centers, at sales counters outside Uttara North, Uttara Center, Agargaon and Motijheel metro stations, and at BRTC terminals in Mohakhali, Motijheel, Sayedabad and Gabtali.
Is there an expiry date for the Rapid Pass?
No, there is no expiry date for the Rapid Pass. You can keep recharging it as long as you want. The pass and any balance amount remains valid until fully utilized.
Can I use the Rapid Pass on other metro lines like the MRT Line-1?
Not yet. The Rapid Pass currently works only on the MRT Line-6 from Uttara to Motijheel. Integration with other existing and upcoming metro lines is expected in the future.
Where can I recharge my Rapid Pass?
You can add value to your Rapid Pass at any branch of Dutch-Bangla Bank. Recharge counters may also be available at major metro stations and BRTC terminals.
Can I lend my MRT Pass to someone else for a ride?
No, the MRT Pass is non-transferable and usable only by the original cardholder. However, the Rapid Pass can be lent to other people as needed.
How long does the issuance process take for each pass?
Both the MRT Pass and Rapid Pass are issued instantly on the spot after you submit your photo ID and passport-size photo. The entire process typically takes only a few minutes.
The Future of Transit Passes in Dhaka
Public transit in Dhaka is expected to be completely integrated under the Rapid Pass system within a few years. The bus, rail, and metro networks will be linked to provide seamless connectivity.
Commuters will be able to plan and pay for door-to-door journeys via a single pass, avoiding the hassle of cash transactions and queues. Feeder services by buses, rideshare and rickshaws will provide last mile connectivity to metro stations.
The Rapid Pass may also be enabled for micro-mobility options like bike sharing services. Eventually, it could become a ‘mobility wallet’ that can be used to pay for trips via any transport mode.
To summarize, the Rapid Pass represents the future of public transit in Dhaka. It will become the preferred option over the MRT Pass as more services get added to the system. The integrated ticketing model can greatly ease the daily commute for citizens while encouraging the use of greener transport alternatives.