Metro hikes fares without prior notice to commuters

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Metro hikes fares

The Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra)-led Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL) increased the tariff of the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro without any prior intimation on Monday.

The increase in tariff was by way of a partial withdrawal of fare discounts that have been in place for the last three years. MMOPL is looking at increasing its fare revenue collections by a minimum of 5 per cent.

Presently, its monthly fare collection is up to Rs 19 crore, which is likely to touch or cross Rs 20 crore following the move.

By making this move, MMOPL has also attracted the wrath of its government partner in the project — Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA). In the past, the government body had challenged the fare hike.

“An approval to partially withdraw the discounts was not taken by RInfra officials at the board meeting,” said Praveen Darade, Additional Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA.

MMRDA intends to bring the partial withdrawal of fare discounts to the notice of the Bombay High Court, which is hearing arguments on a petition by the state government seeking a hike in fares.

MMOPL officials maintain that there is no contempt of court as they have not increased the fare beyond Rs 40, and is within the legal framework. In fact, the single journey token slabs remain unchanged at Rs 10, 20, 30, 40.

The only fare changes made are for the two types of smart cards being sold — the trip based pass and store value pass.There will also be a change in the return journey tokens.

Those holding a trip based pass and travelling over 8 km, or from Asalpha or Jagruti Nagar or Ghatkopar to Versova or the other direction, will bear the brunt of the fare hike the most as they will have to cough up an additional Rs 400 every month. This would mean that a commuter with a trip based value pass will have to pay an extra Rs 10 per trip.

Till Sunday, the trip based value pass had two price slabs — one of Rs 675 (travel of less than 8 km) and Rs 900 (commuting above 8 km). These passes have been revised to Rs 750 and Rs 1,050, respectively.

In the case of return journey tokens, there has been an increase of Rs 5 and Rs 10 per trip depending on the distance travelled. For example, if a someone is travelling between Andheri and Ghatkopar, s/he would have been paying Rs 50 for a return trip. Now, however, they will have to shell out Rs 55.

Similarly, if a passenger owns a store value pass, he or she would have been paying Rs 32 to cover the entire 11.40 km corridor. But from Monday onwards, the individual will have to pay Rs 35. For the rest of the commuting distance, the 10% discount in fare is still available.

Speaking about the changes in the fare structure, the RInfra spokesperson said, “The discounts are in line with the prevalent practice in other Metros. There is no change in the fare of Mumbai Metro One.”

In January 2015, MMOPL had hiked Metro fares from Rs 10-20 to the present Rs 10, 20, 30, 40.
TRIP BASED PASS

Distance: Versova-Ghatkopar

Earlier: Rs 900

Now: Rs 1,350

Return Journey Token

Distance: Versova-Ghatkopar

Earlier: Rs 60

Now: Rs 70

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