Underground Metro in Chennai is a Reality

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Chennai Metro Rail (CMRL) set to open its doors for common public next week. But this option of trnsport is getting considered as an expensive one for the people of Chennai as have to pay ₹100 per person to take the train.

The CMRL plans to issue only smart cards at ₹100 each to commuters for the stretch from Thirumangalam to Nehru Park. Unlike the elevated stretch where the Metro is issuing tokens, priced between ₹10 and ₹50, along with smart cards, customers taking the underground stretch can use only the smart card, even if they are getting down at the next station. CMRL’s smart cards come with a 10% discount.

On the brighter side, CMRL officials say while the maximum fare for the stretch 17-km between Nehru Park to Chennai airport will be ₹60, with the 10% discount, commuters have to pay only ₹54. In case, the commuter wants a return ticket to Nehru Park, he will have to buy another smart card worth ₹100.

“There will not be tokens for the underground stretch of the Metro. For the other stretches from Koyambedu to Alandur and Little Mount to Chennai airport, we will issue tokens but we are planning to do away with the token system eventually,” an official said.

CMRL has come up with the idea of smart cards to increase the number of passengers taking the Metro. “If they buy a card, they will surely use it again. The Metro’s patronage will improve,” the official said.

Commuters say this will prove to be expensive for them. Swetha, a commuter from Anna Nagar, says: “What if I want to just travel only once in a while? Why would I shell out so much? If the fares are affordable, then it makes sense to buy this smart card. But Chennai Metro Rail’s fares are quite high. They should allow both tokens and smart cards and let people decide what they want to use.”

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