Bengaluru

Namma Metro’s discount for smart card holders least among major cities

While making the announcement about reducing the discount, BMRCL had cited increasing operational cost as one of the factors.

While making the announcement about reducing the discount, BMRCL had cited increasing operational cost as one of the factors.  

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Commuters unhappy as BMRCL slashes discount from 15% to 5% with effect from January 20

Come January 20 and Bengaluru’s Namma Metro discount offered to smart card holders will be the least among the incentives offered by metro services in other major cities.

Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) has announced that the discount offered on smart cards will be reduced from 15% to 5% with effect from January 20. Regular passengers using Namma Metro have expressed their anger against slashing of discount and alleged that BMRCL’s move would discourage people from using public transport.

Delhi Metro offers 10% discount to smart card passengers. In addition to this, smart card holders get 10% more discount if they travel during non-peak hours. Kochi Metro offers 20% discount for every metro ride. Hyderabad and Chennai metros too offer 10% discount.

Nayana, a metro passenger, said: “BMRCL has drastically reduced the discount offered for smart cards. Like other metros, they should have at least kept the discount at 10% instead of reducing it to 5%.”

Akash Narayan, another passenger, said: “The government should support public transport companies like BMRCL by compensating revenue loss and subsiding the fares. The State government had earlier announced that they would give financial support to BMTC to reduce the fare, but they are still buying time. Only public transport can help reduce the traffic and pollution in the city.” The daily ridership in Namma Metro has touched 4 lakh and 62% of the passengers are using smart cards to commute on both purple and green lines.

BMRCL, while making the announcement about reducing the discount, had cited increasing operational cost as one of the factors.

Ajay Seth, Managing Director of BMRCL, said: “For the current year, BMRCL is estimated to collect ₹400 crore as fare box revenue and ₹40 crore as non-fare box revenue and to meet the operational expenses, it requires ₹380 crore and ₹120 crore to pay as interest for loans borrowed. There is a revenue gap of ₹60 crore. Operational cost has increased owing to various factors that include induction of six-car trains, maintenance, security, and increased salary costs.”

When asked about other metros offering a discount of 10% and more, he said: “Since 2011, BMRCL has not made significant changes in the metro fare while Delhi has made revisions twice. In addition to operating the existing network, BMRCL has to plan the future expansion of metro network in the city and mobilise capital for it.”

Mr. Seth also said that BMRCL had incurred revenue loss of ₹10 crore as there is a ban on outdoor advertisement. He said that the State government has been requested to allow the display the advertisements on metro properties by making required policy changes.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 1:53:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/namma-metros-discount-for-smart-card-holders-least-among-major-cities/article30546003.ece

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