Delhi Metro: The ‘lifeline’ of the capital city, Delhi Metro has been losing up to five lakh daily commuters as compared to last year and the reason for that could be fare hike. As per the assessment of data obtained through an RTI application, as compared to last year, the months of March, April and May saw a 17 per cent dip in daily ridership. In the months of March and April, this year, a total of 22 lakh and 22.67 lakh commuters used Delhi Metro’s five corridors — Yellow, Blue, Red, Green, and Violet, to travel on a daily basis. In the month of May, around 22.5 lakh commuters took the metro on daily basis. When metro fares were considerably lower, last year, in the months of March, April and May, 27.6 lakh, 27.5 lakh and 26.5 lakh commuters took the metro respectively, according to an IE report.
Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot was quoted in the report saying that the 100 per cent metro fare hike, which was brought about last year was opposed by the public transport experts, common citizens and the AAP government. He claimed that the fare hike was implemented by DMRC (Delhi Metro Rail Corporation) on the Centre’s insistence. As per Delhi Metro’s estimates, the daily ridership of metro was supposed to touch the 30 lakh mark by now. In 2015, when there were fewer stations and the total metro network was much shorter, nearly 23.03 lakh, 24.51 lakh, and 23.93 lakh people took the metro in March, April and May respectively, on daily basis.
In the months of July, August, and September, the daily average ridership was 26.9 lakh, 28.5 lakh and 27.4 lakh commuters respectively. When the second round of fare hike was implemented in the month of October last year, 24.2 lakh commuters took the metro. In the months of November, December, January, and February, the Delhi Metro registered a daily average ridership of 24.38 lakh, 22.71 lakh, 23.01 lakh and 22.18 lakh commuters respectively.
According to Delhi Metro, the initial dip in the ridership was due to “seasonal variations” and holidays owing to festivals. The Delhi Metro also mentioned that the “line utilization” of the network has been steadily increasing with the launch of newer sections as well as interchange stations. A DMRC official stated that line utilization refers to the number of commuters travelled on the line or a portion of that line during their overall journey on the Metro system.
So far, a section of the Pink Line that has been opened recorded 10,546 daily average ridership in May and 19,273 in April. On the other hand, Magenta Line recorded 51,292 daily average ridership in May and 47,890 in April, the report stated.