Ending a six-month wait while repairs were carried out on the line, the Airport Metro resumed services on Tuesday at a reduced speed but increased fares by 50 per cent.
A ticket from New Delhi Metro station to the airport, which cost Rs 80, will now be priced at Rs 120. The fare until the last station at Dwarka Sector 21 will be Rs 150, up from Rs 100. The minimum fare between two stations has also been raised from Rs 20 to 30.
The revised fares, displayed at the ticket counter and customer care unit, will be applicable from Wednesday.
The 22.7-km corridor was shut on July 8, 2012 after structural defects were detected. Services had to be suspended to carry out repair work on girders, bearings, the underground section and rail fastening clips.
“Fares on the airport line are as mandated in the concessionaire agreement of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and we cannot deviate from it. Most fares have remained the same. The most popular product — the monthly 60/45 journey pass — has been maintained at the same level. Some fares have been reduced by introducing new products like return journey token and Sunday/holiday token. It is in our interest to attract more and more passengers and we will continue to do so by designing a balanced fare structure within provisions of the agreement,” a spokesperson for Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Limited (DAMEPL) said.
For regulars on the line, the return of the Airport Metro was the end of a long wait. On Day 1 of the service, the first five passengers at every station were greeted with red roses.
Operations resumed this morning with the first service leaving New Delhi station at 5.35 am. It reached the airport at 6.04 am and Dwarka Sector 21 at 6.09 am. Since the speed has been reduced to 50 kmph, travel time increased to 34 minutes. Earlier, it took only 18 minutes to cover the distance to the airport. At every station, the halt time is now 30 seconds.
“I used to be a frequent traveller on this line. Ever since the line was closed, my schedule got disrupted. I am very glad that the Metro is up and running now. It is a state-of-art facility, yet very economical. A taxi ride for the same distance will cost me Rs 500,” said Virendra Pal Jain who boarded the first service on Tuesday morning.