In Namma Metro, pay more for losing token than 'stealing' it

In Namma Metro, pay more for losing token than 'stealing' it

When it comes to paying fines on Namma Metro, unlucky passengers who lose travel tickets (tokens) shell out more than memento-seekers who are caught stealing them.

The menace of token theft has forced Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd   (BMRCL) to increase the fine for those who lose tokens inside its paid area from Rs 50 to Rs 500. A passenger who lost his travel card on Monday (November 20) was let out of a Metro station only after he paid the fine in addition to the maximum fare as travel cost.  

"In buses or trains, travelling without tickets attracts a huge fine which is acceptable. But it is hard to understand why the Metro would fine us Rs 500 since one enters the paid area only after buying a valid ticket (token)," said Shivaraj Kottur, who travels between Byappanahalli and JP Nagar every day.

When contacted, a Metro official said the fine was increased to deter people from carrying away the tokens. "We have noticed that people make excuses and get away by paying a fine of Rs 50. The Rs 500 fine has been introduced as a deterrent after noticing that some people had put them on sale on eBay," he said.

Sources in the Metro, however, pointed out that those who want to steal the tokens can still buy a token for the next stop and walk out of the station unnoticed. "Many stations have two entries/exits on one side of the road. One can enter, buy a token and walk out. Even if you are caught, the fine for taking away a token outside the station is Rs 200," the source noted.

The BMRCL website says, "If a passenger carries away a token without depositing it at the exit gate, Rs 200 penalty will be charged." When asked about the lower fine for those who actually try to steal the token, another Metro official said it might be revised soon.

Rs 30 for excess luggage

Metro has also hiked the charge for excess luggage from Rs 10 to Rs 30 but this has put the staffers in a fix as they cannot impose the fine without a weighing machine.

"Earlier, we made a general assessment of bulky luggage and charged Rs 10. Passengers would not complain. Rs 30, however, may seem too much for some people. We can't help it if passengers get into an argument and demand that we weigh the luggage," a staffer said.

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