"If people stop using it, then what goal does it serve?" With the loss in ridership, will the Delhi metro now suffer a major setback?
The tweet came in reference to the reports claiming that over 3 lakh commuters ditched travelling by metro post October 10 fare hike.
The Blue Line, considered the metro's busiest, lost over 30 lakh commuters, according to data shared by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) in response to an RTI query.
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Ridership has come down several notches below the numbers observed in recent years, reversing a trend of rise on the back of the launch of newer sections.
"The drop in ridership in the month of October 2017 is not exclusively attributable to increase in fares as there are otherwise monthly variations noted throughout the year", the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said in a statement.
The DMRC fare hike effective from 10 October has led to a rise of around Rs10 for almost every distance slab. On Friday, the chief minister tweeted that many passengers had switched to other means of transport, thus increasing pollution and congestion on roads.
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"In the month of October, there were five Sundays in comparison to September which had four", it said, adding that on Sundays the occupancy remains at 60-70 per cent of the traffic on weekdays and that the ridership depends on various factors like seasons, vacations, holidays, festivals etc.
Meanwhile, Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken said that both the AAP government and the Centre were responsible for the hike as the Delhi Chief Secretary was a member of the Fare Fixation Committee that recommended the rise in fares.
Last month, he had called metro fare hike "anti-people".
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