By bappaditya paul
The new fares in Kolkata Metro Railway, with a hike ranging between 25 to 85 per cent, has come into effect from 7 November, Thursday. According to the new fare structure, Metro will now charge Rs 5 for a journey up to five km, Rs 10 for 5-10 km, Rs 15 for 10-20 km, Rs 20 for 20-25 km and Rs 25 for 25-30 km.
Till Wednesday, the fare used to be Rs 4 for a journey up to five km, Rs 6 for 5-10 km, Rs 8 for 10-15 km, Rs 10 for 15-20 km and Rs 12 for 20-25 km and Rs 14 for 25-30 km.
While the bonus granted on smart cards has been reduced from the previous 20 to 37 per cent to a flat rate of 10 per cent, irrespective of the amount recharged; the Metro has altogether done away with the Re 1 concession that smart card users used to get on every ride.
However, commuters purchasing a smart card now, which will continue to cost Rs 100, will get the benefit of Rs 44 ride value. This is because the security deposit for smart card has been reduced to Rs 60 from the previous Rs 100.
Smart cards can now be recharged up to Rs 1,000 at a time as against the previous limit of Rs 500. The Minimum Multi Ride (MMR), Limited Multi Ride (LMR), General Multi Ride (GMR) and Extended Multi Ride (EMR) cards will not work anymore and those commuters possessing a MMR/ LMR/ GMR or EMR card will have to deposit the card at Metro counters so to get it converted into a regular smart card.
The unused ride value will be credited to the regular smart card that the Metro will issue to the commuters without a fresh charge.
Kolkata Metro Railway runs a total distance of 27.217 km from Noapara in the city’s northern fringes to Kavi Subhash (New Garia) in the southern fringes.
(The author is on the staff of The Statesman, India. This report first appeared in The Statesman on 7 November 2013.)