Metro ambushes commuters with arbitrary baggage fee

Metro ambushes commuters with arbitrary baggage fee

Commuters are furious the Namma Metro is asking them to pay Rs 30 for each piece of baggage they carry.

The practice is new. A notice at the Metro stations, which has no date or signature on it, reads 'Luggage Limit Rs 30 per baggage.'

The print-outs make no mention of weight or dimensions, and are not displayed prominently. The Metro authorities have made no public announcement about the fee either.

Staff said they had received instructions to collect Rs 30 on all baggage other than handbags.

With no measuring tapes or weighing machines around, they are slapping the fee even on those carrying trolleys.

'Purpose is lost'

People travelling to the Kempegowda bus station and KSR city railway station are especially upset about the new rule.

"The main purpose of public transport is lost when people are forced to pay extra for baggage. The Metro in Delhi does not charge anything extra. By doing this, they are deterring people from using Namma Metro," said Abhilasha M, a commuter.

Indian Railways, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation and Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation don't charge passengers for baggage they carry.

Earlier, commuters were barred from carrying their helmets on the Metro. The rule was later withdrawn.

Commuters complain Metro staff can be arbitrary. Sometimes, they even object to commuters carrying baby bags with diapers, food and feeding bottles.

Go by volume

Shankar A S, executive director, Namma Metro, said baggage volume determines whether commuters have to pay.

"When the bag passes through the safety belt, staff assess the volume and decide whether it calls for payment," he said.

He told DH clear rules would be sent to all stations, and employees and commuters made aware of them.

How big is big?

If a piece of baggage exceeds 60x45x25 cm, it attracts a fee of Rs 30, a Metro official said.

What is the problem?

Other Metros don't charge for baggage.

Staff decide arbitrarily to charge or not charge.

They have no tapes to measure baggage.

Who is hit?

People taking the Metro to reach bus and railway stations are the worst affected.

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