At present, Chennai Metro charges a minimum of Rs 10 to a maximum of Rs 60 for a journey. For instance, ticket fare for a journey from Washermenpet to Airport (22.328 km) costs Rs 60. When the extension line is inaugurated, the journey between Airport and Wimco Nagar, a distance of over 31 km, would likely cost up to Rs 70 per trip. However, Metro officials are tight-lipped on the ticket fares for the extended line and pointed to the 20 per cent discount being provided for tickets purchased through QR code.
Chennai Metro should understand the socio-economic condition of the North Chennai localities and bring down the fare so that more people can take the train, which promises hassle-free commuting, said R Jayaraman, former Tiruvottiyur Municipality Chairman. “If the Metro did not reduce the fair, the public would prefer much cheaper suburban trains in which one could travel up to Tambaram for Rs 15 per trip,” he said.
The high fare is one factor that prevents higher patronage in Chennai Metro says KP Subramanian, a retired professor of Anna University’s Division of Transportation Engineering. “There is a differential fare between buses, suburban trains and MRTS and it is a disadvantage for the Metro. The minimum fare on Metro is Rs 10 whereas the suburban train and ordinary MTC bus fares start at Rs 5. Besides, the Metro’s other disadvantage is it covers a very small part of the city unlike other modes,” he said.
Metro patronage would increase not only by reducing the fares but by bringing fare parity with other modes, he said, adding that the Chennai Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (CUMTA) could play a vital role as the commuters could switch to other modes with one ticket.
R Kannan, an employee of an IT company at Ramapuram said despite high ticket fares, he prefers the Metro over other modes of transport as it would bring down the journey time by almost half. “Due to the ongoing Metro work, the movement of vehicles was severely hit in the already narrow Tiruvottiyur High Road. Once the Metro starts its services, I will switch to it,” he said.