- The dispute between State government and Reliance Infrastructure over the pricing of Mumbai Metro fares is likely to affect further functioning of the project as also the other metro rail schemes that seek private funding.
- Just before the launch, Reliance Infrastructure, which is the major shareholder in this public-private venture, hiked the fare range from Rs. 9 to 30 to Rs.13 to 40.
- If faced opposition from the govt as it was higher than agreed fares and hiked without consultation. The private company on its part defended its action claiming that the project overshot the estimated costs and also that the Metro Railways Act authorized it to fix fares.
- This has been the norm most often where companies underestimate the project costs and subsequently complain of cost overruns, demand higher allocations and raise ticket prices adversely affecting the pockets of the commuters.
- The use of public transport eases traffic, reduces fuel consumption and pollution. It should hence be made a transparent and fair process as high prices may affect transport choices.
- Alternate financing options should be explored. Many countries have mobilized funds by imposing additional charges for using private cars.
- Read at: http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-opinion/pricing-public-transport/article6113394.ece