Reliance Infrastructure, the concessionaire company for the Airport Express line, has increased the price of its monthly pass by a whopping Rs 800.
The monthly pass used to cost Rs 1,200 for a 60-day trip between Dwarka and Shivaji Stadium stations.
The hike has hit the scores of Dwarka residents the hardest who take the express line to commute to central Delhi daily. Many of them are now planning to switch to Delhi Metro even if that means travelling for a longer duration, all thanks to the 'abrupt hike' in the price.
A spokesperson of Reliance Infrastructure said the inaugural discount on the Airport line for the first three months continued for about a year. But now the prices have been revised. The concessionaire company has also introduced a new pass. For a 45-day trip, commuters will have to shell out Rs 1,600. For a one-time trip, the commute between Dwarka and Shivaji Stadium station on the Airport Express line costs R80 per token. There has been no hike in the token rates. "We save only 10 minutes by taking the Airport line to work. But if this is going to cost us Rs 400 more per month, then I don't mind taking the Delhi Metro," said Pankaj Garg, a resident of Dwarka Sector 9.
A Smartcard holder of Delhi Metro pays less than R1,200 per month for the commute between Dwarka and Rajiv Chowk.
According to Shivani Kumar, DGM-Customer Care of the concessionaire company, "The current fare change is applicable on the 60-journey monthly pass only where the inaugural discount has been partially withdrawn. The inaugural discount is applicable on single journey tokens. Commuters can also avail the new 45-journey pass aimed at regular passengers travelling 5 days a week or less." But the commuters are not convinced with this clarification.
Dwarka Forum, a welfare association of residents and RWAs in Dwarka, has strongly opposed the move.
A forum spokesperson said, "Out of about 5,000 Dwarka residents who go to their workplaces in Central Delhi every day, about 800 people use the Airport line during morning peak hours. With the increase in the fare structure, the ridership will definitely go down."