Local train rides to get 24% dearer in the New Year
Travelling by local trains — the city’s lifeline — will get 24 per cent more expensive from January 1, 2013.
The fares, in the first such hike in 10 years, will go up owing to a surcharge that was to be levied under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project. The railways intend to recover Rs 240 crore from Mumbaikars as part of the surcharge since 2003.
This surcharge was meant to repay the World Bank loan for the rail component. It will be levied on both season and card ticket holders travelling in first and second-class compartments.
Although the minimum fare will remain the same, the hike will come into effect for a distance of over 10 kilometres. “The surcharge will be levied beyond 10 kilometre on all tickets,” said Rakesh Saxena, Managing Director, Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation.
This means anyone travelling from CST or Churchgate to Dadar, which is nearly 10 km, will not be affected by the fare hike. However, any distance beyond 10 km will have to pay 24 per cent.
The fare will not increase for the 1-to-10-km slab, however, for the 11-to-50-km slab the expected hike for the MST (monthly season ticket) will be Rs 10 for second class and Rs 20 for first class.
The QST (quarterly season ticket) charge might go up by Rs 30 and Rs 60 for second class and first class respectively.
In the 51-to100-km slab, the hike for MSTs might go up by Rs 15 for second class and Rs 30 for first class and for QSTs, the hike could be Rs 45 for second class and Rs 90 for first class.
As per the plan, the World Bank had to be paid through three instalments that were to be implemented in 2003, 2006 and 2009, and recover a total sum of Rs 240 crore.
The first surcharge was to be imposed in September 2003 from which Rs 80 crore would have been recovered. After three years, another 8 per cent was to be added to the fares and a similar exercise was to be followed in 2009 as well.
However, due to a delay by the state government and Indian Railways, the surcharge was not implemented.
The Railways should not increase the train fare so much. The common people who travel by local train will be greatly troubled by this hike.
— Jigna Kapadia, student
This is ridiculous. The government has no plans to increase our salaries but they are just increasing the cost of daily living. Local train is the cheapest mode of transport. After the hikes in bus, rickshaw and taxi fares, railways are following the same path without thinking about the common man
— Sujit Pathak, advocate
This was the last thing we expected at the end of the year. I always thought locals were the cheapest mode of transport but now after the bus, auto and taxi fare hikes, how should a common man travel?
— Devshri Bidaye, student
I travel from Andheri to Byculla every day by first class. The cost of a pass already seems to be too high for the quality of services provided to us commuters. Now with another 24 per cent hike, the situation won’t get any better
— Moinuddin Shaikh, architect