Much to the anguish of the commuters, the Chennai Metro’s maximum fare went up to Rs 70 with the opening of the 9 km-long Washermenpet-Wimco Nagar extension line. Besides, the Metro’s patronage came down from 1.2 lakh to less than 50,000 a day in January.
Officials said fare reduction and opening of the North Chennai line would help boost patronage. “On average, 8,500 people are using the North Chennai line and overall ridership has gone up to 75,000 a day,” the official noted.
Aswathy Dilip, senior programme manager, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, said the fare reduction would make it more affordable and accessible. “Public transport systems should not be viewed from the point of view of profit and loss. After investing so much, it should carry as many people as possible. The reduction of fares is one such factor that helps improve its patronage,” she said.
Metro officials said steps have been taken to improve last-mile connectivity to Metro stations as well. “We have reintroduced share auto services in eight stations, including Guindy, Tirumangalam, Koyambedu, Alandur and Ashok Nagar, at a flat rate of Rs 10,” the official said.