Delhi Metro fare hike: Students, Delhiites suffer; Ola, Uber, DMRC cheer

File photo of a Delhi Metro train
By now, most regular Delhi Metro commuters would have experienced for themselves the fare hike effected from October 10. To make the matters worse, this is the second hike in the space of five months. Despite opposition from the Delhi government, Delhi Metro on Tuesday increased its fares. Barring the minimum fare of Rs 10 for a distance of 0-2 km, which will remain the same, fares have been raised for all other slabs. This has evoked mostly negative responses from commuters and caused chaos all over Delhi-NCR.

Fare structure: The fare now is Rs 10 for up to two km, Rs 20 for 2-5 km, Rs 30 for 5-12 km, Rs 40 for 12-21 km, Rs 50 for 21-32 km and Rs 60 for a ride beyond 32 km.

The minimum hike hase been Rs 5 and the maximum Rs 10. Smart card users continue to get 10 per cent discount and so do those using Metro during non-peak hours -- between start of the service and 8 am; between noon and 5 pm; and from 9 pm to the close of service.

What does this hike mean to stakeholders?

For women: More than 65 per cent of women in the national capital might have to look for a less expensive mode of transport that might also be less safe. According to a survey conducted by the Delhi Commission for Women, 96.98 per cent of the city's women want the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to immediately roll back the fare hike. As many as 68.6 per cent women say they would be forced to adopt less safe modes of transportation or would be forced to travel less frequently.

The survey revealed that 61.57 per cent women said they would face severe issues in managing their household expenses following the fare hike. "At a time when six rapes and several cases of eve-teasing and harassment are reported each day, the Metro fare hike has forced women to go back to less safe modes of transportation," DCW Chief Swati Maliwal said.

For commuters: The latest increase has drawn strong reactions from commuters, with some saying they would consider alternative public transport.

The hike is not fair. Who will be happy with such a steep rise, that too twice in a year," said Ajay, a 40-year-old finance sector employee who commutes from Paschim Vihar to Rajiv Chowk.

Arvind Tripathi, 28, who works for a Japanese firm, said: "I paid Rs 60 today from Bata Chowk to Rajiv Chowk. This is not a good thing. Metro may be incurring losses, but who isn't?"

For students: “We feel the Centre did not assess the ground reality. It is pinching the pockets of the common man and students,”  Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) said. The RSS-affiliated student outfit also demanded special concessionary passes for students in Delhi.

Who will it benefit? Ola, Uber, says AAP

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) announced launching a city-wide protest against the Metro fare hike, and alleged the decision to raise tariffs was taken by the Centre to "benefit" radio cab operators.

AAP's Delhi unit convenor Gopal Rai said the party would launch a "satygaraha" to demand a rollback and protest outside all Metro stations today and will gherao Nirman Bhawan, the office of the Union Urban Development Ministry on Thursday.

"The Modi government's decision to raise the fare is unfortunate and taken with animosity. They (the ministry) say that Metro is running into losses, but this is not true. How come the losses started mounting since last year," Rai told reporters.

Delhi's AAP government has quite vocally been opposing the move, referring to it as anti-people.

ABVP staged a demonstration outside the Metro Bhawan here, demanding the rollback of the hike or issuance of a Metro pass for students, similar to the DTC bus service.

Delhi Minister Satyendar Jain on Tuesday claimed the Metro fare hike would lead to reduced ridership and subsequent loss to DMRC. He said the move would also lead to traffic congestion and increased pollution levels in the national capital. It is not a business venture, he said.

When the Delhi Metro had started operations on December 25, 2002, the minimum fare was Rs 4 and maximum Rs 8.

Govt should provide special discount to Students #DelhiMetro. use this situation @BJP4India @AmitShah @narendramodi @PMOIndia


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