New Delhi: Delhi Metro lost over three lakh commuters a day after a steep fare hike came into effect on October 10, an RTI query has revealed. The metro’s daily average ridership came down to 24.2 lakh in October from 27.4 lakh in September, translating to a fall of around 11 per cent.
The Blue Line, considered the metro’s busiest, lost over 30 lakh commuters, according to data shared by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) in response to an RTI query by a PTI correspondent.
The 50-km corridor connects Dwarka to Noida. The metro currently has a 218-km network across Delhi-NCR. The fall, in terms of absolute numbers, was over 19 lakh on the Yellow Line, another busy corridor which connects Gurgaon to north Delhi’s Samaypur Badli, DMRC said.
Ridership on the Violet Line, which connects ITO to Faridabad, plunged by 11.9 lakh in October. The number of riders on the Red Line, from Dilshad Garden to Rithala, came down by 7.5 lakh. Ridership has come down several notches below the numbers observed in recent years, bucking a trend of rise on the back of the launch of newer sections. In fact, in October 2016, the metro’s daily average ridership was also 27.2 lakh, despite a comparatively shorter operational route.
On October 10, DMRC effected the fare hike, leading to a rise of around Rs 10 for nearly every distance slab. This came barely five months of another hike of up to 100 per cent. After the first phase of the hike in May, the metro lost nearly 1.5 lakh passengers per day in June.
The Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government has mounted a stiff opposition to the hike, leading to a confrontation with the Centre.
DMRC and Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri supported the move saying it was essential to maintain metro’s financial as well as operational health. He rejected Kejriwal’s opposition, saying the Centre was in no position to disregard the recommendations of a Fare Fixation Committee which had drawn up the revised fare list.
The revised 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.