An RTI reply has revealed that Delhi Metro lost over three lakh commuters every day after a sharp fare hike came into effect on 10 October.
The number of people using the Delhi Metro everyday came down to 24.2 lakh in October from 27.4 lakh in September, translating to a fall of around 11 percent.
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.
The 50-km corridor connects Dwarka to Noida. The metro currently has a 218-km network across Delhi-NCR.
DMRC said that 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.
The number of commuters using 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.
In fact, in October 2016, the number of people travelling in Metro was 27.2 lakh, despite a comparatively shorter operational route.
DMRC effected the fare hike on 10 October, 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 percent.
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.
Till May, the metro transported around 28 lakh passengers daily. After the first phase of the hike in May, the metro lost nearly 1.5 lakh passengers per day in June as the number dropped to 25.7 lakh.
The Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government had opposed the hike, leading to a confrontation with the Centre’s Narendra Modi government.
“That many passengers have taken to other means of transport, thus increasing pollution and congestion on roads Metro fare hike has not benefited anyone,” Kejriwal tweeted on Friday.
Asked to comment on the drop in number of passengers, Union minister Vijay Goel said efforts would be made to increase the number of passengers. “If need be I will raise the issue of fare hike at the Centre,” he said.
His colleague, Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri, had said earlier that the Centre was in no position to disregard the recommendations of a Fare Fixation Committee which had drawn up the revised fare list.