After fare hike, Metro smart card sales drop by 22%
In a reply to an RTI query, DMRC said sale of metro cards dropped from an average of 15,650 cards per day in 2016 in July, August, September and October, to 12,250 in 2017 in the samedelhi Updated: Dec 03, 2017 22:32 IST
The months following the metro fare hike did not only see a dip in ridership but has reportedly resulted in a drop in smart card sales by nearly 22%.
In a latest reply to an RTI query, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) reportedly revealed that the sale of metro cards dropped from an average of 15,650 cards per day in 2016 in the months of July, August, September and October, to 12,250 in 2017 in the corresponding months.
A DMRC spokesperson attributed the dip in card sales to ‘saturation’ in the number of new metro consumers as new lines are yet to be commissioned.
The daily average of smart card sales in July, 2017 was 12,900 against 16,000 in the same month last year. Similarly, 12,400 cards were sold in August this year as against 16,500 during the month last year. In September and October this year number of cards sold were 11,700 and 12,000 respectively compared to 15,200 and 14,900 in the same months last year.
Calling it a “usual fluctuation” the Delhi Metro officials claimed that the marginal dip could be more because of new rules instead of the hike in the ticket prices. “It is difficult to link the fare hike with dip in card sales. Instead, the drop could be because of the new rule of metro cards being made non-refundable that was implemented from April 1 this year,” an official said.
The official added that this deterred less frequent passengers to opt for tokens than cards as the minimum value of a smart card is Rs 150.
Despite the dip in sales, the percentage of smart card users saw a slight increase during the same months in 2017 as compared to last year. According to data given by a DMRC spokesperson, the percentage of smart card users was 69.04, 70.12, 71.90 and 69.94 in July, August, September and October 2016 respectively. In 2017, during the same months, the share of smart card users saw a slight increase 72.17, 72.47, 72.65 and 70.84.
Metro hiked its fares twice — in May and October — this year. Following the second round of hike, it lost three lakh commuters per day in October.
Commuters Hindustan Times spoke to rued about the hike and said they are left with little options as Delhi’s bus system still continues to be unreliable.
“I have started using shared cabs after the metro fare hike. I have to travel on a daily basis between Malviya Nagar and AIIMS. The metro travel and rickshaw ride from the station to my office cost me Rs 40 after the hike. But, now I directly reach my office by shared cab in just Rs 35,” said Amogh Suman, an IT professional.
DMRC and the Centre had earlier said that the fall in ridership could not be solely attributed to the fare hike and factors such as an extra Sunday, Diwali and Chhath Puja may also have been responsible and also defended the hike saying it was essential for the company’s “efficiency”.
The current 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.