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Blog Entry# 3788196
Posted: Sep 08 2018 (06:29)

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DMRC/Delhi Metro
Sep 08 2018 (06:29)   CSE replies to DMRC’s rebuttal - The Hindu

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Entry# 3788196   News Entry# 356188         Tags   Past Edits
The think tank has said that the Delhi Metro is unaffordable for most low-income commuters. | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma
Travelling on the Delhi Metro is unaffordable for most of the city’s lower income commuters not just because of the fare but also due to the cost incurred in last-mile connectivity, said the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) on Friday.
Poor integration of different systems and poor connectivity means that commuters pay a lot to reach a metro station in the first place, it said.
environment think tank was responding to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s (DMRC) rebuttal of a recent CSE study on what it takes to keep public transport affordable for all citizens while still modernising systems. Claiming that last year’s hike in fares had led to a drop in ridership, the CSE had said that the Delhi Metro was the second most unaffordable system (among nine cities included in the study) in terms of the percentage of income spent by commuters to use it.
The study calculated that an average unskilled daily wage labourer in Delhi would have to spend 22% of his/her income if he/she travelled by Metro.
Even for middle income groups, who earn ₹12,500 to ₹42,000 per month and form 30% of the city’s population, the cost of travelling by metro would be 14% of income, it said.
Both the DMRC and Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Puri had criticised the CSE report terming it “misleading” and “not based on facts”.
In its rebuttal, the DMRC had said that an average commuter spends 5.5% of his income on the metro. It reached that figure by dividing the metro’s total fare revenue by the total number of commuters, and comparing that with the average per capita income in Delhi.
“While the DMRC has calculated the cost of only metro trips, the CSE has computed the overall daily commuting cost of travel by different modes as well as combined modes... This also includes the cost for accessing a system,” said the CSE in a statement.
“Journey for most residents is not only about two metro trips a day, but also includes interchanges and the additional cost that commuters incur to access public transport systems. The DMRC has not accounted for that,” it said. The CSE calculated costs for three trips per day for 26 days a month, while the DMRC calculated fares for two trips per day for 22 days a month.
By using the city’s average per capita income as its yardstick, the DMRC had also not taken into account the income inequalities in the city, said the CSE. In fact, 34% of Delhi’s households, which have a monthly income of less than ₹12,500, face hardships in even affording a basic non-AC bus, it said.
The CSE also responded to the DMRC’s argument that it was not fair to compare the Delhi system with the nine select cities. Even if compared with larger global cities in developed countries such as Paris (6.6% of income) or New York (4.6% of income), the costs of travelling by Delhi metro were more unaffordable, said the think tank. Even London fares marginally better, with commuters spending 13.4% of their income to travel by metro there.
Welcoming the spotlight on the issue sparked by the public debate over metro fares, affordability and connectivity, the CSE urged the DMRC to come up with fiscal solutions that could be replicated in other cities as well.
“Instead of being defensive, the DMRC should play a more proactive role in promoting physical and system integration in the city,” it said.

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