Kolkata: Kolkata's Metro Railway, the first underground railway system in the country, today decided to raise fares drastically after 13 years.
While the minimum revised fare, which would be charged from October 18, would be Rs. five for a distance up to two km, for a distance between 30 km and 40 km, the fare would be Rs. 30, a Metro Railway release said.
The revised zones and fares for single journey tickets would be Rs. five for two km, Rs. 10 for two to six km, Rs. 15 for six to 12 km, Rs. 20 for 12 to 21 km, Rs. 25 for 21 to 30 km and Rs. 30 for 30 to 40 km, the release said.
Concession for smart cards has also been reduced to 10 per cent of ride value from the existing 20 per cent.
Concession rate for student smart cards would remain at the existing 60 per cent, the release said.
Metro Railway sources said at present it has to spend Rs. 350 for every Rs. 100 earned.
"The rationalisation, which is happening after 13 years, will reduce this imbalance to a certain extent," a Metro official said.
While fares of ordinary buses are Rs. five for two km, it was Rs. four up to five km for Metro Railway, making it the cheapest and fastest mode of passenger transport in the city, which has only six per cent road space.
Ruling Trinamool Congress in the state and Metro Railway Passenger Association, both have opposed the hike.
Trinamool Congress held demonstrations outside metro stations opposing the increase in fares.
"The hike is sudden and abnormal and we demand that the authorities discuss the issue with us," Secretary of the Passengers' Association Bhabesh Ganguly said.
He said a memorandum has been given to Metro authorities and demanded that the hike be kept in abeyance till discussions are held between the authorities and the association.