Delhi Metro just got costlier with a new passenger fare structure starting at Rs. 10 and going up to Rs. 50 coming into force today. Divided into six fare slabs, the new fare structure, Monday through Saturday, is: up to 2 kms — Rs. 10, 2 to 5 kms — Rs. 15, 5 to 12 kms — Rs. 20, 12 to 21 kms — Rs. 30, 21 to 32 kms — Rs. 40, and for journeys of over 32 kms, Rs. 50. Those carrying a smart card and travelling during the off-peak hours — between 6am-8am, 12pm-5pm and 9 pm onwards — will be able to avail a discount of 20 per cent.
On Sundays and national holidays (January 26, August 15 and October 2), there would be a discount of around Rs. 10 across slabs.
The tariff would rise further from October 1, when the maximum will turn Rs. 60. The hikes were announced on May 8 after the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) board cleared the recommendations of a fare-fixation committee.
DMRC said the hike, following a gap of seven years, was crucial towards sustaining its operations against the backdrop of rising operational costs, like increase in power tariff, growing manpower bill and maintenance charge.
“Although it would not turn us profitable overnight, it would at least prevent a further rise in the operating ratio of the company, which is around Rs. 84 at the moment,” a metro official said.
It means DMRC spends around Rs. 84 on operations for every Rs. 100 it earns. It was around Rs. 54 in 2009, when the last hike was effected and since then it has steadily risen, metro revenue director KK Saberwal said.
Accounts of DMRC, where the state and Centre hold equal equity, have been in the red for years now when factors such as the loans it has taken from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are considered.
Annually, metro shells out an average Rs. 500 crore interest on loans it has taken from the JICA and the principal amount comes to around another Rs. 600-800 crore.
Metro’s operating ratio will further change when its upcoming corridors, as part of ist Phase III expansion, are launched, taking the total length of the network to around 350-km from the existing 213-km.