With twin fare hikes this year, ridership of the Delhi Metro has been going down. Even though officials have been trying to downplay this issue and trying to brush it off as a seasonal phenomenon.
Even going to the extent of stating that the month in which Diwali and other festivals were held, metro ridership went down, as there were fewer people around!
Even though anyone who has ever commuted during the festive time in Delhi knows, during festivals, especially Diwali, Delhi’s roads and the transportation system is under huge stress as people travel from one place to another for shopping and to exchange gifts.
Now the data from DTC shows a climb in its ridership, as the metro ridership has fallen, clearly signaling a switch from Metro to Buses by the commuters. Even though, buses are jam-packed and not as convenient as the metro.
Of course, this is only showing one side of the story. Of the commuters shifting from Metro to DTC buses. The part of the story, data or whatever you might want to call it is missing is the rise in the number of private vehicles on the road, as a result of metro hiking its fares.
Because if it is true. And if commuters with their own transportation are ditching metro in favor of their own vehicles, as the gap between the price of traveling in metro and by own vehicle reduces, it would raise a major question on the viability of metro as a mean to decongest the city and provide an affordable means of public transport for the masses.
After all, if people are switching back to the bus network, even though it is depleted severely and are switching back to their own vehicles.
Then is the huge investment in Delhi metro justified?
The severe inconvenience metro projects cause to the commuters on the road, is it justified if it isn’t going to help reduce traffic on the road in the long run?