Mumbai Metro One fares set to rise

The new fares for the Mumbai Metro came into effect from Friday , with a revision in fares of smart card and token users. However, fares for trip-based travel, which are comparatively cheaper to tokens and smart cards, will be revised only after January 15.
The Bombay High Court on Thursday dismissed the state government's plea to keep the fare slabs between Rs 9 and Rs 13, allowing a hike in Metro fares. Though Mumbai Metro One Private Ltd (MMOPL) has doubled fares for the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar corridor, Metro officials are confident that there will not be a drop in ridership. The 12 km-long corridor carries around 3 lakh passengers on weekdays and around 2.75 lakh passengers on an average per day since it was opened to the public in June 2014.
An MMOPL official said, “On an average, nearly 70% of our commuters are smart card holders. It means these are dedicated commuters, who would not switch to other modes of transport as the fares, even after the hike, are still affordable.“ MMOPL said it has sold approximately four lakh smart cards till date.
In fact, trip-based passes will be available till January 15 at the old fares. It will benefit commuters who use passes for 45 and 60 trips, which are both valid for 30 days from the date of renewal. For example, each trip between Versova to Ghatkopar will be Rs 13.33 under the trip-based system as against Rs 32 under the new smart cards and Rs 40 using tokens under the new fare.
The official also said that an increase of Rs.10 or Rs.20 in fares will not make much of a difference for those who want quick and comfortable travel. The official said, “We had sought feedback before notifying this fare. Most commuters did not have objection with this fare while some were even willing to pay more.“
Alternative transport options on the route are BEST buses, autorickshaws and taxis. An MMOPL official said, “BEST fares are also expected to increase soon. Compared with comfort offered and the time saved by the Metro, commuters may not want to switch to BEST as the fare difference is not that substantial.“

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