Karnataka

Metro passengers unhappy with move to slash discount

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‘BMRCL must make ride affordable’

The decision of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) to slash the discount offered all these year to smart card holders has not gone down well with metro passengers.

“If it is going to be almost the same rate for both tokens and smart card holders, I might as well buy the token. At least I don't have to go through the hassle of maintaining the minimum balance. In cities like Delhi, the government is talking of free metro rides, but here we are slashing discounts and increasing the fare. Many people bought the smart card after paying an additional cost so they could get this discount. Will the BMRCL return the money that was paid to get the smart card,” asked Neeti N.

Last time, the BMRCL faced criticism for increasing the minimum balance in smart cards to ₹50.

Pallavi, a commuter, said, “Every day, I travel from Peenya to Baiyappanahlli. The cost is around ₹86. In addition, I need to pay for parking at Yelachenahalli and for feeder bus after getting down at Baiyappanahalli. Bengalureans pay a lot for daily travel. The BMRCL should make metro ride affordable.”

Not encouraging use of public transport

“I use metro because it is fast and more reliable. Another reason was that they are giving 15% discount for using smart cards. But now they have reduced the discount to 5%. At a time when every one is talking about incentivising public transport, the BMRCL is burdening passengers. On the one hand, the government urges people to use public transport, and on the other hand, they resort to unpopular measures that discourage people from using public transport,” said Narasimha K.

It is said that reducing discount to 5% will help the BMRCL earn up ₹7 lakh more per day.“Due to the increase in operations of six-coach trains, expenditure on energy has increased. The cost of maintenance and security has also increased considerably. Reducing the discount will not compensate for the entire cash loss, but it may partially help the BMRCL meet the operational cost,” said B.L. Yeshwanth Chavan, Chief PRO. The BMRCL hopes that by the end of January, all the trains on both lines will have six coaches.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 12:46:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/metro-passengers-unhappy-with-move-to-slash-discount/article30520478.ece

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