Is Delhi Metro the world’s second most unaffordable network? Why DMRC believes the report is misleading

By: | Published: September 7, 2018 12:18 PM

Delhi Metro is the world's second most unaffordable metro network, claims a report by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). However, according to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), the study conducted by CSE is based on incorrect information and is therefore misleading.

As per the data released by CSE, Delhi Metro, after last year’s fare hike, has become the second-most unaffordable metro service across the world among the cities that charge less than half a US dollar for one metro ride.

Delhi Metro is the world’s second most unaffordable metro network, claims a report by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). However, according to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), the study conducted by CSE is based on incorrect information and is therefore misleading. As per the data released by CSE, Delhi Metro, after last year’s fare hike, has become the second-most unaffordable metro service across the world among the cities that charge less than half a US dollar for one metro ride. However, DMRC MD Mangu Singh denied this and said that the study has conveniently chosen only a few other metro networks from all over the world, that helps CSE prove their point and he also stated that the calculations are based on incorrect information.

The other cities that were considered by CSE for their report are Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Kiev, Cairo, Jakarta, Hanoi, Manila, New Delhi and Mumbai. Further questioning the authenticity of the data, Singh stated that metros like Jakarta do not exist yet and will start from January next year. Questioning the logic of including Jakarta, Singh has said that no comparison is possible with a metro network that is not yet functional. He also claimed that other metro networks across the country such as Chennai, Kochi and Lucknow have higher fares than Delhi Metro.

The study stated that a middle-class Delhi Metro commuter spends 19.5 per cent of his/her income travelling in the Delhi Metro. It also claimed that this percentage increases up to 22 per cent in the case of low-income groups. However, this was denied by DMRC, which stated that instead of 19.5 per cent, commuters spend an average of 5.53 per cent of their incomes for travelling in the Delhi Metro network. They also stated that comparing metro fare per kilometre, the agency that keeps tab on the Metro services across the world i.e., CoMET/NOVA, in its report had taken the purchasing power parity into account for 35 metro networks and the Delhi Metro was ranked the fourth cheapest metro network before the fare hikes that occurred last year. Even after the hike in metro fare, Delhi Metro ranks the 11th cheapest in the list, the CoMET/NOVA report stated.

The DMRC MD also said that the conclusions regarding the Delhi Metro’s dipping ridership are being drawn out of ridership projections after the completion of the Phase-III project of the metro network. As the Phase-III project is yet to be completed, it is unfair to draw conclusions, he said.

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