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There's a fare notification on Metro and it's final: UPS Madan

Friday, 9 May 2014 - 6:15am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna
For the second time in less than a year, the issue of revision of Metro rail fares to commute between Versova and Ghatkopar has resurfaced, with Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra) trying hard once again to have its way. dna spoke to MMRDA Commissioner UPS Madan about what should Mumbaikars expect during the next few weeks.

Q: Presently there is uncertainty over Metro fares. Will the fares be the same as decided in September last year by chief minister or RInfra can fix higher fares on their own?
A:
There is already a fare notification in place about Metro, which is final. The notification was issued recently with a revision in ticket prices. The fare notification is final and binding.

Q: But RInfra claims that they are Metro Railway Administrator (MRA), thus have rights to fix the initial fares.
A:
They may be the MRA, but it is subject to the terms and conditions mentioned in the concession agreement. After all their existence as MRA is because of the concession agreement, which cannot be ignored simply because now Metro Railway Act has come into force. Soon state government officials will be meeting RInfra officials to discuss the fare issue.

Q: If there is a steep hike in fares, will we witness Mumbai Metro going Delhi Airport Express way with high fares and low ridership?
A:
It is too early to predict about what will happen in future, once the Metro corridor is opened for commercial operations. But it is certain that a final decision on fares will be taken well ahead of opening of the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro.

Q: When Metro and Mono rail projects were announced there were plans for fare integration and a single smart card to commute in Mumbai. When will it happen?
A:
Let each of the systems settle down. Fare integration is a complex subject. There is need to check financial viability of each of the transportation systems. Here we have different players for each mode of transport. Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking operates buses, Indian Railway is for suburban locals, MMRDA for monorail and Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (led by RInfra) for Metro. Even fare structures are different. It also involves is sharing of fares, therefore it is not easy to have a common platform. At the moment, there is no timeframe set by us to integrate fares of different modes of transport of Mumbai.




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