While the state is battling to secure a very affordable fare slab for the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro line at Rs 9-13 against the MMOPL’s demand of Rs 10-40 commuters seem to have reached a near-consensus: they wouldn’t mind a fare hike for the new rail, which they say is a plum ride for all seasons.
73-year-old Airoli resident Natha Arjun More enjoys his first Metro journey. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
For most, travelling comparable distances between the western and central suburbs sets them back them Rs 100-150 in an auto, and more than Rs 20 in a BEST bus. So why not shell out Rs 15-40 for the air-conditioned train, which saves time and provides a safe and hassle-free journey, they ask.
On Friday, the MMRDA had filed an arbitration petition in the Bombay High Court, and made an application before Justice R D Dhanuka for urgent relief in the matter of fixation of Metro fares. The hearing on the case is on June 13.
The development authority filed a case, seeking appointment of an arbitrator as far as the Metro fares are concerned. The authority has claimed that the fares were fixed at Rs 9 (up to 3 km), Rs 11 (from 3 to 8 km) and Rs 13 (for more than 8 km) and were accepted by the consortium. They were specifically mentioned in the concession agreement. However, the consortium has increased the fare to Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 30 and Rs 40 for various distances.
On Monday, the Metro corridor received a good response from the public and many office goers switched to the new rail from the locals, buses, autos and taxis. The two most preferred Metro stations were Andheri and Ghatkopar, since they are well connected to the suburban rail stations on the western and central lines, respectively.
VAG Metro has provided the much-needed connectivity between central and western suburbs. For this, I wouldn’t mind paying Rs 40 because it’s saving me an hour on a single-way journey daily. Moreover, I can also sit and work on my laptop during the 25-minute journey.
Professor Chhaya Pinge, Andheri resident. Pinge clicks a selfie with her colleagues, inside the Metro
Earlier, my two colleagues and I travelled all the way from Andheri to Dadar and then to Ghatkopar, and it used to take us more than an hour. On the Metro, we can reach college in less than 30 minutes. At times, when we took a rickshaw from Ghatkopar to Andheri, it cost us Rs 10-130, depending on the traffic, and took more than an hour. So I wouldn’t mind paying Rs 40 for a single-way journey on the Metro.
Yogesh Amal, Ghatkopar resident
The travel time compared to roadways is less in the Metro. Besides, it is air-conditioned. So a fare of R30-40 won’t matter much, when we look at the kind of convenience it gives. I feel that there should be a monthly or weekly pass system so that more people can take benefits of travelling in the Metro.
Lavanya Iyer, Andheri resident
Metro not only saves my time but saves me from all the pollution. And during monsoon as well as summers, it provides comfortable, safe and easy passage.
Rahul Saroj, student
Rs 10-40 will be a reasonable fare structure with the type of comfort and the reduction in travel time. Anything to avoid the Mumbai traffic!
Hitesh Hurbada, businessman
A Rs 10-40 ticket is any day cheaper compared to the money we have to spend while travelling in a taxi or an auto rickshaw. I am okay even paying Rs 50, because it’s less than half the amount I spend on rickshaws between Versova and Ghatkopar.
Nikhil Achrekar, Vile Parle resident
As per the facilities and infrastructure the Metro is providing, ticket prices between Rs 10-40 do not seem to be much. It would be great if there is a monthly pass system.
Akshay Kadam, Andheri resident
In my opinion, the common man may find it difficult to shell out Rs 40 on a single journey. The fares should be set keeping in mind the economy of every class.