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News Entry# 442250
Mar 04 (09:16) Passengers oppose railway board’s bid to hike train fare (
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News Entry# 442250  Blog Entry# 4895770   
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Coimbatore: Days after the railway board made an announcement regarding operation of a train between Mettupalayam and Coimbatore with express unreserved booking, commuters urged the board not to increase the ticket price.

A statement from the Southern Railway said the board has permitted operation of a mainline electric multiple unit (Memu) special train between Mettupalayam and Coimbatore from March 15. The train, which would be operated on all days expect Sundays, will leave Mettupalayam at 8.20am and reach the Coimbatore Railway Junction at 9.05am. It will leave Coimbatore at 5.55pm and reach
Mettupalayam at 6.40pm.

Before the lockdown, fares were equivalent to a passenger train, a railway official said. “But now there would be a slight increase in fare as the seats would be filled through express/mail unreserved booking system. We are yet to receive information regarding the exact fare structure.”

Commuters requested the board to conduct more services between the points and not to increase fare. “Until last March, as many as four train services were operated between Coimbatore and Mettupalayam a day. College students, government and private employees used the services on a regular basis,” said M Jamil Ahmed, chairman of the Coimbatore District Railway Passengers’ Welfare Association.

Most of the commuters have been depending on buses or private vehicles for the last one year, Ahmed said. “They are forced to spend at least 30 minutes more than the average time taken by buses to travel between Mettupalayam and Coimbatore due to the ongoing flyover work on the Mettupalayam Road. It is not just time consuming, but also tiring. They are also shelling out more.”

“The board should operate at least three services between the points. We made a representation to the officials,” he added.

Before lockdown, the fare was Rs 10 and regular travellers would opt for season ticket, which was just Rs 2,000 per year, said K P Rahman, an organizer of Namma Mettupalayam. “Now that the board is planning to collect charges equivalent to the charges of unreserved seats in express trains, there will not be season tickets. Also, the ticket prices are expected to become more than Rs 30 and we will be forced to shell out around Rs 1,500 per month which is quite expensive.”
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