MUMBAI: Less than two months after voting overwhelmingly for the BJP-Sena alliance in the Lok Sabha elections, Mumbaikars got the shock of their lives on Friday when the new government doubled — in some cases, trebled — prices of suburban railway season tickets. The hike, effective from June 25, comes just weeks before the railway budget will be tabled in Parliament.
More than half of Mumbai’s population commutes by train. Western Railway ferries 35 lakh commuters every day and Central Railway 40 lakh, making for a daily total of 75 lakh commuters, in a city with a population of about 1.4 crore. Nearly 55 lakh of these commuters hold season tickets.
The unprecedented increase will be severe: some of the fares, released by officials, indicate that season ticket fares may soar nearly three times on some routes. The worst-hit will be commuters staying in the extended suburbs of Thane, Borivli, Kalyan and Virar.
Railway officials, however, argued that suburban fares are highly subsidized and the rise would partially offset their losses. WR records an annual loss of Rs 88 crore and CR Rs 571 crore. More info