In a recent study by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), Delhi Metro was rated as world’s second most unaffordable metro line after Vietnam’s Hanoi Metro.
Incepted in 2002, the Delhi Metro is now spread across a total of 296kms and is a medium of transportation for an average of 2.6 million commuters, every single day. The ridership rate of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has lowered by 31.6% compared to 2016 due to supposed fare hikes, and a recent study by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has titled Delhi Metro to be the second-most unaffordable metro line in the world. This has led to major crisis in public transportation options in the city – a rather ironic situation as Delhi’s public transportation demands keeps exploding.
In the world where a metro trip of 10 kilometres costs less than half a dollar, Delhi Metro is suffering from “lack of overall policy for pricing of all transport services and a lack of strategy for funding of these systems and increasing ridership”. Stats indicate that an average commuter of Delhi spends 14% of their household income on metro travelling – making it the second most unaffordable metro line in the world. Whereas Hanoi Metro of Vietnam gulps away 25% of the commuters’ incomes, making it world’s most expensive metro service.
To address the problem and making public transport options more viable, feasible and affordable, the DMRC needs a fiscal strategy and an overall plan for improving ridership. Also, the CSE report pointed out that locally-appropriate systems needs to be devised for not just Delhi, but for most states of India to create an “institutional and technological ecosystems for ensuring affordable fares and subsidy delivery”.