Delhi Metro lost 3 lakh commuters a day after fare hike in October
The Blue Line loses over 30 lakh commuters while the fall in Yellow Line is over 19 lakh.delhi Updated: Nov 24, 2017 23:38 IST
Delhi Metro lost an estimated three lakh passengers daily in October compared to the same period last year, indicating a severe impact of a second fare hike in six months on the public transport system.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation hiked fares twice this year in May and October, almost doubling the price of tickets to meet its increasing operating costs.
The Delhi Metro is used by more than 30 lakh people every day in the national capital region that includes parts of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
Numbers provided by the DMRC, in response to an RTI application by news agency PTI, showed that between May to October, the number of passengers fell by about 2.1 crore, compared to the same period in 2016 (see chart).
Compared month-on-month, the monthly passenger numbers show a steady decline except in May this year.
In October alone, the number of passengers fell by 11 per cent compared to the previous month, the data showed.
DMRC did not monetise the loss of passengers though an an official said the fare hike might have compensated for the fewer number of passengers.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who had opposed the fare hike and had written several letters to the Centre for a rollback, linked the loss of metro passengers to increasing pollution levels in Delhi.
“That many passengers have taken to other means of tpt (transport), thus increasing pollution n congestion on roads. Metro fare hike has not benefitted anyone (sic),” Kejriwal tweeted on Friday.
The twin fare hike was the first since 2009.
The DMRC, however, said that public holidays due to different festivals might have also led to fewer people taking the metro.
“In October, there were five Sundays in comparison to four in September and ridership remains less on holidays than on weekdays. This monthly variation in ridership is dependent on multiple factors like seasons, vacations, holidays, festivals etc,” DMRC said in a statement.
“The month also witnessed extended weekends and holidays due to festivals of Diwali, Chhath Pooja, Bhai Duj, Goverdhan etc,” it said, adding that ridership in November has shown a rising trend.
According to a DMRC official, surveys in different countries have showed that metro ridership reduces by up to 3% if fare is increased by 10%.
The ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and BJP blamed each for the fare hike and loss the passenger numbers.
AAP convener Gopal Rai said the metro fares were hiked “adamantly” by the Centre despite opposition by the party.
The Delhi BJP, however, blamed the DMRC for the hike and held the Kejriwal government responsible for it.
“We had been saying that Delhi Metro should think over the hike. It is a public transporter whose basic goal is to make the roads less crowded by providing mass transit,” said party spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor.
“However, the Kejriwal government cannot escape the blame for fare hike as it is also a stakeholder in Delhi Metro,” he added.
(With PTI inputs)
First Published: Nov 24, 2017 15:36 IST