Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) lost over three lakh commuters a day after a steep fare hike came into effect on October 10, an RTI query has revealed. The fare hike lead to a rise of around Rs 10 for nearly every distance slab.
This came barely five months after the first hike which resulted in upto 100 per cent fare rise. After the first phase of the hike in May, the metro lost nearly 1.5 lakh passengers per day in June.
The metro's daily average ridership came down to 24.2 lakh in October from 27.4 lakh in September, translating to a fall of around 11 per cent. The metro currently has a 218-km network across Delhi-NCR.
According to data shared by the Delhi Metro, the Blue Line, which connects Dwarka to Noida, lost over 30 lakh commuters.
DMRC also said 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.
Ridership on the Violet Line which connects ITO to Faridabad has been 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.
Ridership has come down several notches below the numbers observed in recent years, bucking a trend of rise on the back of the launch of newer sections.
In October 2016, the metro's daily average ridership was also 27.2 lakh, despite a comparatively shorter operational route.
The Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government has mounted a stiff opposition to the hike, leading to a confrontation with the Centre.
DMRC and Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri, supported the move saying it was essential to maintain metro's financial as well as operational health.
He rejected Kejriwal's opposition saying the Centre was in no position to disregard the recommendations of a Fare Fixation Committee which had drawn up the revised fare list.
DMRC's revised fare structure
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.
(With PTI inputs)