The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has decided to decrease the fare discount for smart card users this year.
Currently, the BMRCL provides a 15% slash in base fare for smart card users. The agency said that starting January 20, smart card users will get only a 5% discount.
Namma Metro officials say that the 15% discount was introduced when the agency was running 3-coach metro trains. With the increase in number of coaches to six in both the Green and Purple lines, there is a need to increase tariff, BMRCL said in a statement.
â€śBMRCLâ€™s base fares have not been revised since 2017. In the financial year 2019-20, the likely net cash loss is estimated to be Rs 60 crore. In 2011, smart cards were introduced and an incentive of 15% discount for smart card users. 62% of the commuters have smart cards,â€ť BMRCL officials said.
However, Namma Metro officials maintained that the base fare would remain the same and there would be no reduction of hike in base fare. In 2017, Namma Metro had increased fares by 15%. The minimum amount to be paid stood at Rs 10. However, the maximum fare was increased from Rs 45 to Rs 60 (between Baiyappanahalli and Mysuru Road one way).
Commuters with smart cards received a 15% discount on these fares. The maximum fare paid by smart card holders was Rs 51 for a one-way ride. Starting January 20, smart card holders will have to pay a maximum of Rs 57 for a one-way ride.
BMRCL officials say that the discount will be slashed a day after the timings for metro timings are to be extended. "Namma Metro commuters can take the trains till midnight starting January 19. The smart card discount will be slashed one day after extended services begin. Since 2017, we have introduced many new commuter-friendly changes but fares have not increased. BMRCL's power tariff is also huge and the agency decided that it would be better to slash discounts that hike base fares," the BMRCL official said.