RInfra to seek operational subsidy to keep Mumbai metro fares low

Reliance Infrastructure-led Mumbai Metro One on Monday said it will seek metro operational subsidy from the state government to keep the fares lower, even as the fare fixation committee has recommended its revision in the range of Rs 10 to Rs 110 for the over 11-km-long corridor.

Meanwhile, Mumbai Metro One (MMOPL), which is operating the network, has decided to continue the current fare range of Rs 10 to Rs 40 till October 31, after which it will review the fare structure and gradually increase the ticket costs depending on the government response.

"The recommendations by the fare fixation committee (FFC) has taken into consideration the cost to operate the metro line, business viability and the value propositions that metro brings in to its commuters. "While at the business level we continue to make significant cash losses, considering the interest of commuters, it is decided to maintain the existing fare for the time being while we engage with the government and other authorities to progress on leads given by the FFC," MMOPL chief executive Abhay Mishra said.

The Reliance Infrastructure in a statement also said that experts appointed by the FFC has also suggested that MMOPL should be granted metro operational subsidy by the government to keep the fare affordable and should fully monetise the potential of real estate available at metro properties, to ensure business viability.

The FFC on July 8 submitted its report recommending the revised fare after analysing all aspects, including the cost to operate the line and alternate modes of transport, sustainability and affordability. It had recommended to retain the minimum fare at Rs 10 and increase maximum fare to Rs 110. The committee, while fixing the fares had said, "MMOPL is not strictly comparable with other metros in the country, which have the distinguished advantage of concessional interest and lower power tariff, whereas Mumbai Metro is paying commercial rate of interest and a very high electricity cost."

"It is a common practise across the globe to provide operational subsidy to transportation services which leads to business viability and fare affordability for a larger section of commuters," Mishra added.

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