Metro officials claim that the trains remain deserted after the peak hours. This comes in the face of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) increasing smart card fares after slashing the discount from 15 per cent to 5 per cent.
BMRCL executive director A Shankar said that the operational costs have increased with the six-car trains being crowded only during the peak hours.
BMRCL employees’ union vice president Suryanarayana Murthy said that the increasing losses are the major reason for the fare hike. While people prefer Metro during the peak hours to reach work early and escape traffic, urban mobility experts say that expensive fares and lack of last mile connectivity affects the ridership during the non-peak hours.
Vinay Sreenivasa from Bengaluru Bus Prayanikara Vedike said, “BMRCL has failed to work with Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) for providing feeder services. The route planning was not thought through at many locations. For instance, Jayanagar Metro station should have been located on 4th Block, near the bus station, to integrate both the modes of transport.”
Srinivas Alavilli from Citizens for Bengaluru said, “A different set of people travel during non-peak hours. If authorities want senior citizens to use the Metro, they should make better footpaths and the stations accessible. Many of the stations still don’t have escalators or elevators. Auto rides to and from Metro stations are so expensive and don’t have any control. For many, Metro fares are also out of reach. Perhaps the fares should be reduced during non-peak hours to attract more passengers.”