Millennium Post

Metro ridership takes a hit after consecutive fare hikes

NEW DELHI: Delhi Metro lost over three lakh commuters per day after whopping fare hikes in May and October this year, an RTI query has revealed. The metro's daily average ridership came down to 24.2 lakh in October from 27.4 lakh in September, translating to a fall of around 11 per cent. The Blue Line, considered the Metro's busiest, lost over 30 lakh commuters, according to data shared by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) in response to an RTI query.
"The fall, in terms of absolute numbers, was over 19 lakh on the Yellow Line, another busy corridor which connects Gurgaon to North Delhi's Samaypur Badli," DMRC said. Ridership on the Violet Line, which connects ITO to Faridabad, plunged by 11.9 lakh in October. The number of riders on the Red Line, from Dilshad Garden to Rithala, came down by 7.5 lakh.
In fact, in October 2016, the Metro's daily average ridership was 27.2 lakh, despite a comparatively shorter operational route. DMRC implemented the fare hike on October 10, leading to a rise of around Rs 10 for nearly every distance slab. This came barely five months of another hike of up to 100 per cent. The revised fare structure is: up to 2 km –Rs 10, 2 to 5 km –Rs 20, 5 to 12 km –Rs 30, 12 to 21 km –Rs 40, 21 to 32 km –Rs 50 and for journeys beyond 32 km –Rs 60.
Till May, the Metro transported around 28 lakh passengers daily. After the first phase of the hike in May, the Metro lost nearly 1.5 lakh passengers per day in June as ridership dropped to 25.7 lakh. However, ridership picked up from around July. The DMRC which had maintained the fare hike was essential to maintain financial as well as operational health said in a statement that the drop in ridership is not solely because of increase in fares.
The Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government had mounted stiff opposition to the hike, leading to a confrontation with the Centre. "That many passengers have taken to other means of transport, thus increasing pollution and congestion on roads. Metro fare hike has not benefited anyone," Kejriwal tweeted on Friday.
"Delhi Metro admits in its RTI response that its ridership decreased by 11 per cent following a steep fare hike in October. Result of misplaced priorities by an unaccountable Board!" Kejriwal's media advisor, Nagendar Sharma added.
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