The Delhi Metro has become the second most costly transit system in terms of the percentage of income a commuter has to spend to use it, said a report by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). The study compared nine metropolitan cities around the world which have operational Metro systems and where cost of a 10-km trip costs less than half a dollar.
According to the CSE report, a commuter from the middle income groups has to spend 14 per cent of their income for using the Delhi Metro, making it cheaper only to the one in Hanoi, Vietnam. Unskilled daily wage labourers earning Rs 534 daily have to spend 22 per cent on Delhi Metro, the report further added. Adding the cost of making interchanges drives the total journey cost even higher.
"If this spending were to be around 3-4 per cent (as it is in Singapore), the person could save up to Rs 60 per day. This could mean around 1.5 to 2 litres of milk every day for the family. A month of these savings could mean life insurance for a year for a family of four for a year for Rs 2 lakh each under the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) scheme," the CSE report said.
The increase in fares, which came into effect last year, has also affected the footfall at Delhi Metro. The transit system saw its ridership decline sharply after the fare hike, approximately by 4.2 lakh in 2018 since the fare hike, the report said. The Delhi Metro has reportedly seen a fall of 32 per cent in daily passengers than it had expected to serve this year.
Apart from the economic impact, rising costs of public transport has some environmental drawbacks too as it increases dependence on private transport. "Growing dependence on personal vehicles for urban commute can lead to irreversible trends and damages. Greenhouse gas emissions from transport -- though the third highest currently among all sectors -- has recorded the steepest increase. This is also responsible for health-damaging toxic exposure," said CSE Director General Sunita Narain.
Commenting on the report, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, "As CM of Delhi, I feel very sad that such an important means of transport has become out of reach of common man. All those who have given up Metro are now contributing to Delhi's pollution by using road-based transport."
As CM of Delhi, I feel v sad that such an important means of transport has become out of reach of common man. All those who have given up metro are now contributing to Delhi's pollution by using road based tpt pic.twitter.com/1PVim6kCJV- Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) September 5, 2018