The concessions offered by Nagpur Metro to its passengers have proven to be ineffective. In December 2022. the daily passenger count exceeded 125,000.
However, it has now dwindled to 70,000. The surge in passengers back in December 2022 reflected their trust in the metro system.
but their faith was shaken when Mahametro increased fares fourfold in January. As a result, the ridership dropped to 80,000.
This decline in passenger numbers raised concerns among officials, leading them to introduce several concession schemes in an attempt to boost ridership.
Despite these efforts, the passenger count continued to decline. Surprisingly, the officials remain unwilling to retract the fare hike.
even though the metro had been the most affordable mode of public transport in the city by the end of December.
Consequently, individuals from low-income backgrounds, students, and ordinary citizens began seeking.
alternative modes of transportation, such as illegal six-seater auto-rickshaws or bicycles, instead of the metro.
Discounts for Students Fall Short in Attracting Passengers
Initially, the metro offered a 30% discount to students. Additionally, the same concession was extended to all passengers on the last day of the week and on public holidays.
However, these efforts failed to reverse the declining trend in passenger numbers.
Alarmed by the situation, officials introduced a daily pass for unlimited travel priced at Rs 100.
Government’s Role in Fare Hike
Interestingly, the metro authorities increased fares without seeking permission from the state and central government.
It is surprising that despite being aware of the passengers’ inability to afford such high fares, the local minister did not intervene to withdraw the fare hike.
Unless the fares are reduced, it will be challenging to achieve the target of accommodating two lakh passengers daily.