The Delhi government’s decision to revise bus fare has come as no surprise, considering the enormous financial burden the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) faces.
The DTC is losing almost Rs 600 crore annually on operations and maintenance and spending Rs 22.5 billion (Rs 2,250 crore) to procure 4,500 swanky new low-floor buses to strengthen its depleting fleet.
While DTC has upped its fare by 70 per cent, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) fare would also rise by 45 per cent.
DMRC officials said the hike was imminent with their foray into another state: the Noida section is to open shortly.
Delhi Metro’s last fare increase had coincided with the opening of Barakhamba - Dwarka line in 2005 when the metro had increased its maximum fare from Rs 14 to Rs 22.
hike v/s quality
While DTC has a justification for this hike, it is a windfall for Delhi’s ‘killer buses’. With absolutely no improvement in quality of services, the Delhi government is giving blue line operators at least a 50 per cent increase in their revenue on a platter.
“We have also upped the composite fee which blueline operators pay to the DTC for using our bus shelters and depots from Rs 2,500 per bus per month to Rs 7,500 thus balancing out their profits to some extent,” a senior Delhi government official said requesting anonymity.
DTC had overhauled its fare structure in May 2002 and marginally revised it in June 2007.
“We are revising the fare after almost seven years. With the hike, we hope to bring down DTC’s annual loss from nearly Rs 575 crore to Rs 200 crore,” Delhi transport minister Arvinder Singh Lovely said.
Lovely claimed while Delhi’s per capita income was highest in country it still has lowest public transport fare.