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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Reacting to increased fares of Delhi Metro

Effective 10th May, 2017 the Delhi Metro has
revised its fare structure. It is quite an overhaul and you can read about it in the web. What is worse is that it has been announced that there would be another round of revisions in coming October.

What does the metro mean to Delhi? 

Its lifeline. Its that simple. Many of us are prepared to travel across the city and back just because there is metro connectivity. Over the last 15 years metro has been operational in the city, people have chosen their places of work or residence, schools, etc based on proximity to the metro. The advantage is freedom from the unpredictability of traffic on the road, smart card access, air conditioned coaches, fast moving trains, clean stations, and much more. Interchanges (sometimes inconvenient) between lines, few technical glitches off and on, overcrowding in peak hours, etc are looked at as shortcomings that can be overlooked in light of the benefits it offers.

You ask me to reach anywhere, and the first question I would ask is, "Which is the nearest metro station?"

Fares 

Metro fares were revised last in 2009, and they were designed more or less to suit our pockets. The current revision was due, but it seems to be too demanding. The thought that it would get hiked again few months down the line has got ingrained in our minds and we have all started re-working our monthly budgets.

My concern is that if I, being in a reasonable salary bracket, am thinking so much about the increased travel costs, how would people with lower earnings and/or perhaps more liabilities do their financial planning?

Impacts  

The State Government wishes to encourage travel by public transport and is trying hard to incentivize public transport. This step seems to be a step in the absolutely opposite direction.

There are people who have become captive riders of the metro, because of many factors. They really do not want another option - and would stick to the metro, no matter what the fare is. 

Some people may want an alternative, but their brains tell them that there is no better option, and for them, metro it is.

But then there are people who have choices. One of my colleagues offered to car-pool with me. He even went to the extent of calculating my travel costs and stressing on the convenience of door to door services.

Response of some people to the price sensitivity analysis would be negative.. they would move out, and get spread between buses, personal vehicles, etc. They might end up incurring higher costs if you factor in comfort of travel, safety, congestion, etc but it is the burden on their pockets that seems to matter to them.

My demands

There is a section that has been in construction for long, and I have been waiting for it to become operational - this would make my daily commute from home to work and back much convenient. There are few upcoming corridors which would help Delhi significantly. So, now my thought is, "Ok you are charging as you please, now please give me new stretches to travel in".

And perhaps, if someone could convince the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to drop the plan of implementing the second phase of fare revision. 

4 comments:

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I always intend to get onto Metro as it is the cheapest and most reliable transport source for me. But the increased fares might affect many people in the case. Brilliant piece of writing.

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