Local fare hiked; auto, taxi fare may rise


Source:  http://www.hindustantimes.com/

In a double whammy for Mumbaiites on Friday, suburban railway season ticket rates doubled and autorickshaw and taxi fares were hiked by Rs. 2. While the new railway ticket rates will come into effect from June 25, autorickshaw and taxi fares will need the Bombay high court’s nod before drivers start charging them.

In one of the biggest hikes ever, the railway ministry on Friday announced a 14.2% hike in all passenger fares and a 6.5% increase in freight charges. The decision is expected to help the Railways mop up an additional Rs. 8,000 crore during this fiscal.

The move came a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country should be ready for “tough decisions” to improve the economy.

However, for Mumbaiites, who are already reeling under the hike in food and fuel prices, this is a bitter pill to swallow.

Local trains, considered the city’s lifeline, are used by 75 lakh people on a daily basis. The steep hike is expected to hit season ticket buyers — 80% of those using the suburban trains — the most, with the rates of monthly and quarterly passes rising by almost 100%.

According to the tentative ticket revision formula provided by Western Railway, a secondclass monthly season ticket from Churchgate to Virar will cost Rs. 645 as compared with Rs. 280 at present, while a first-class monthly season ticket for the same distance will cost Rs. 1,960 instead of Rs. 1,035.