Fare Hike Impact: Delhi Metro Loses 26 Mn Riders In 2017
The Delhi Metro's fare hike seems to have not gone down well with the riders of the rapid transit system. The Delhi Metro lost 26 million riders in 2017, a year when the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation had expected to cross the 1-billion mark. The Delhi Metro recorded 967 million passengers in 2017 as against 993 million in 2016. The information was revealed by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) in an RTI (Right To Information) query.
Earlier, it was revealed that over three lakh commuters a day were lost after a steep fare hike came into effect on October 10 last year. 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. In January and February 2018, the average daily ridership stood at 23.3 lakh and 24.4 lakh, respectively. This was 27. 6 lakh and 29.3 lakh in corresponding months in 2016. The worst month during this tenure was December 2017 as the average daily footfall fell to 22.9 lakh. Since then the ridership has been stagnant at an average of 24 lakh.
The fall is attributed to steep fare hike twice in the same year. On May 10 last year, the minimum passenger fare for the Delhi Metro was increased from Rs 8 to Rs 10 and the maximum fare from Rs 30 to Rs 50. In the second hike, applicable from October 10, the fare went up by Rs 10 for those who travelled more than two kilometre.
The next hike is expected in January 2019.
However, in a statement, the DMRC has said that the Metro ridership is on a steady increase on a month-on-month basis. Over 69,000 more footfalls were recorded in January 2018 than the preceeding month. Similarly, the average monthly ridership increased further by 80,000 passengers in February.
“Numbers are not the real measure to calculate the impact. We must look at the fleet utilisation, which has increased despite the fare hike. Passengers are taking longer journeys and overall passengers travelling km has increased,” said Mangu Singh, managing director, DMRC.
The Metro currently has a 252-km network spread across the National Capital Region.
In absolute numbers, the fall was over 19 lakh on the Yellow Line, another busy corridor which connects north Delhi to Gurgaon.
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, the DMRC implemented a fare hike, leading to a rise of around Rs 10 for each slab. This hike in fares came five months after a hike of up to 100 per cent.
With inputs from Housing News