Many commuters were left clueless on Monday morning as Mumbai Metro One (MMOPL), which operates the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar corridor, increased the fares for the Return Journey Token (RJT) by Rs. 5, allegedly without any prior intimation.
The hike was applicable to Return Journey Token (RJT) and Trip Pass.
According to a post-hike communication by MMOPL, the fares for the Return Journey Token (RJT) have been increased by Rs 5 (Rs 1.66 for 2 to 5 kms and Rs. 3.33 for 5 to 8 kms).
With this, the return journey fares for a distance of up to 2 km remain unchanged. However, the fares for up to 5 km have changed from Rs 30 to Rs 35; up to 8 km from Rs 50 to Rs 55 and beyond 8 km from Rs 60 to Rs 70.
As for the Trip Pass, the end to end discount of 50 percent has been reduced by introducing new slab.
Therefore, instead of having types of passes – 2 to 8 km costing Rs 675 and 8 km & above costing Rs 900, the operator now has three slabs of 2 to 5 km, 5 to 8 km and 8 km & above priced at Rs 750, Rs 1050 and Rs 1,350 respectively.
Although the new fares have already started reflecting on MMOPL’s website, many regular commuters were left wondering as the operator failed to communicate the price hike in advance.
“You know how to catch people off guard. First tinkering with time table and now increasing token fare without announcement,” tweeted Rajiv, one of the many commuters who was caught off guard.
Incidentally, no official notification pertaining to any fare hike could be found on the operator’s website (http://www.reliancemumbaimetro.com/) or its social media handles.
The hike comes in the wake of an ongoing legal battle between Reliance Industries-backed Metro One and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).
Back in November 2015, the Fare Fixation Committee (FFC) allowed MMOPL to hike the fares between the price band of Rs 10 to Rs 110 (return fare) to make it commercially viable.
The hike, however, was challenged by MMRDA in the Bombay High Court.
Even as MMOPL continued to suffer losses, with Rs 286.88 crore in 2016 alone, HC issued a stay order on the proposed fare hikes till it heard petitions. It also advised the operator to approach the state government for assistance in achieving business viability.
When Reliance tried to hike fares by Rs 5 last year, the decision was once again stayed by the HC.
The surprise hike, therefore, raises questions about whether the operator sought and subsequently managed to get the required permission from the HC.
Meanwhile, the daily ridership of the Metro One, which started operations on June 8, 2014, continues to hover around 3.55 lakh mark on weekdays, far lower than Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation’s (MMRC) estimate of 5.13 lakh.
Update: A MMOPL spokesperson, when asked about the hike, claimed that the operator has simply reduced the discount percentage instead of actually hiking the fares.
“We have brought the discounts in line with those prevalent in other Metros. There is no change in the basic fare,” he was quoted saying.Back to latest news