The first underground rail service of Chennai Metro Rail between Thirumangalam and Nehru Park was opened to public on Sunday. This stretch will be extended up to Chennai Central by year-end and it will be a boon for people in Anna Nagar West and the neighbouring places in the posh area. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister along with Union Urban Transport Minister together launched the service at Thirumangalam metro station and it covers the distance within 7 minutes and for 8 kilometers. The underground metro is seeing light at the end of the tunnel in Chennai. The metro pulls out majestically to sail over towers and green flora of the city. Financial planners of Metro trains need to introspect on the cost and earnings scenario. The metro is fine and reduce the rush in road transport like bus and auto, but the fare is Rs.10 to Rs.60 as per the distance. Metro train is operated on tax money and all eventual losses, whether packed like sardines or all breeze and no crowd – are borne by taxpayers. Why don’t Metro reduce fares accept more people for whom it was built. Costs almost remaining the same more people add to earnings which depends on people’s willingness to pay. It is time to work out cost studies and public sharing of losses at various actual and assumed occupancies and breakeven point. Metro is not a theme park ride. Better ride the assets and depreciate them.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)