Two months back, it brought smiles on the faces of commuters looking for a comfortable ride to the airport. To enjoy trouble free connectivity from New Delhi Railway Station to IGI Airport and Dwarka Sector 21, commuters have been asked to shell out 50 percent more from the earlier fare, which most felt was alright. But the smiles disappeared earlier this week when the fare was revised again and increased again by Rs 30, for the second time in the last two months.
With thes changes, the ride to T3 from New Delhi Metro station becomes Rs 150 per ticket, which had been Rs 80 in 2012 and Rs 120 after Metro re-started. Meanwhile, charges to Dwarka Sector 21 touched Rs 180, compared to Rs 100 and Rs 150 thereafter. Moreover, the monthly pass (which allows 45 trips) has also been increased by Rs 300 to Rs 2,500 to travel between New Delhi and Dwarka.
Metrolife interacted with the commuters on the revised fares, who are clearly unhappy over the move. “The hike is not at all acceptable,” says Ajay Vohra, a daily commuter who works at the Defence Services Officers Institute (DSOI) Dhaula Kuan. “The fare has been increased twice in a year. It is a commuter unfriendly move because the Metro authorities did not even issue a public notice before hiking the fare,” says Vohra.
Similar views were shared by Dharmendra Shukla, who works in Delhi Cantonment area. “Monthly household budgets have been disturbed thanks to the frequent increase in the fares. From Dhaula Kuan to New Delhi I have to pay Rs 80 for a single journey which is expensive for me. I commute by Airport Metro because of its fast service but it adds to our burden especially when we have a limited source of income.”
It may sound ironic but Reliance Infrastructure increased the fare on the high speed corridor last time when the speed was drastically reduced to 50 kmph. Though the speed was increased to 80 km per hour in February, a revised fare was not expected by the users. “They have improved the speed but charging extra money from us is no justice,” says Raman Walia, who commutes from Dwarka to Shivaji Stadium and uses a monthly pass.
“On the one hand, they are putting up hoardings of having completed their two years in the Capital and on the other they are leaving regular customers aggrieved. Secondly, the Metro remained closed for six months and now when it has restarted, the authorities are not at all concerned about attract more commuters to avail the world class facility,” he says, pointing out that he has no choice except to burn holes in his pocket.
Meanwhile, in an attempt to ease the woes, the spokesperson for the Metro Express says they are entitled to increase the fare as per the concessionaire. “The current single journey fare is as per original concession agreement between Reliance and Delhi Metro Rail Cooperation signed in 2008. The introductory discounts we were offering have been withdrawn. No company can be run by giving discounts to its customers for more than a year. We are charging reasonable rates for the convenience provided. ”