If you were worried that you would have to shell out Rs 40 to travel from Ghatkopar to Versova (or vice versa), you can breathe a sigh of relief at least for this month.
Mumbaikars traveling in the metro. Pic/Kaushik Thanekar
Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL) has decided to hike the prices of the Metro, but only by Rs 10. A ride will now cost a minimum of Rs 10 and a maximum of Rs 20.
Today, the Metro completes one month of operation and MMOPL has decided to not jack up prices to Rs 40 as was notified earlier seeing the tremendous response to the line.
Calling it a goodwill gesture, MMOPL has kept the prices in the competitive range the maximum price for a non-AC BEST bus ticket is Rs 25. For a ticket bought off the counters, a Metro ride will cost a maximum of Rs 20.
For smart card users, this amount is Rs 15. Metro authorities want people to shift to smart cards, as it increases ease of operation and also its efficiency.
“This is a goodwill gesture on our part, which, we are confident, will inculcate travel discipline among commuters. The further discount on smart card users would encourage daily commuters to switch to smart cards from tokens.
By switching to smart cards, commuters will not only save money, but also avoid bearing the pain of standing in queues to procure tokens,” said a spokesperson of MMOPL.
There is also a special weekend discount for children up to the age of 12 years, who shall only have to pay R5 for travel between any two stations. Children below the height of 3 feet are allowed to board for free.
Presently, about 45 per cent of Metro commuters use smart cards. Considering the huge demand, return tokens will also be available from today, making it the first Metro in India to do so. The new prices shall be effective till July 31.
On May 29, MMOPL had fixed a range between R10 and R40 as the initial inaugural prices for the Metro, as per Section 33 of the Metro Act, 2002.
However, when it opened on June 8, MMOPL introduced a flat promotional fare of R10 for travel between any two stations on the 11.04-km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar line, in a bid to attract passengers.
This tactic has worked extremely well and the transport has crossed 1 crore commuters. MMRDA and MMOPL are still fighting it out in court over prices. While the Bombay HC dismissed MMRDA’s petition challenging the fares two weeks ago, the authority took the matter to a division bench.
The case was heard yesterday by the division bench, which granted no stay on the ticket prices to MMRDA. Lawyers Iqbal Chagla and Janak Dwarkadas of Reliance Infra and MMOPL respectively informed the division bench of that they would keep the fares at Rs 10 for distance up to 3 km, Rs 15 up to 8 kms and Rs 20 for longer journey till July 31.
Meanwhile, the HC directed MMRDA to make the state and central governments party to the matter. The next hearing is scheduled for July 23.
>> Rs 10-Rs 20: For people who buy tokens from counters
>> Rs 10-Rs 15: For commuters who use smart cards
>> Rs 5: Special weekend fares for children under 12 years of age