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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Apr 2014

Rapid Metro fare may rise before service begins

Sanjeev Ahuja , Hindustan Times  Gurgaon, July 17, 2013
First Published: 01:42 IST(17/7/2013) | Last Updated: 01:45 IST(17/7/2013)

Earlier fixed at R12 for a trip, the fare for Rapid MetroRail Gurgaon (RMG) may increase even before the service begins in September this year.

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The passengers may end up paying up to R15 to travel in India's first privately owned and funded Rapid Metro.

According to RMG officials, the fare is likely to be increased up to R15 to bring it 'on par with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) fare'.

The DMRC is already negotiating a fare hike with a committee set up by the union urban development ministry. The DMRC has not increased its fares since 2009. 

"Though we have fixed fare at R12 per trip —which is economical compared to the prevailing mode of transport — the fare is likely to be increased, as it has to be proportional to the DMRC tariff. Delhi Metro is already negotiating for a hike with a committee," said Sanjiv Rai, chairman and managing director of Rapid MetroRail Gurgaon Limited, the promoter firm.

At present, the passengers who get down at Sikanderpur Metro station have no option but to take an auto or an unauthorised BPO cab or a rickshaw for last-mile connectivity.

The ever-rising ridership of Delhi Metro has earned it the status of the second-largest Metro service in South East Asia. Its passenger load is next only to Hong Kong's metro service.

Keeping in mind Metro's ridership, the RMG operator has projected initial ridership at about 40,000-50,000 per day for its three-coach trains which it says could touch the one-lakh mark within a year of operation.

"The Delhi Metro is connected to Rapid Metro through the Sikanderpur Metro station. We expect a proportionate rise in our ridership keeping in mind the increasing ridership for Metro. The DMRC is already in an expansion mode and is adding two more coaches each to all six-coach trains," Rai added.

While referring to Delhi Metro's ridership, Rai said it had started with a meagre 30,000 passengers a day and reached the 2.5-lakh figure in the very first year of its operation.

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