Kochi: The Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) is considering extension of the flat 50 per cent discount fare scheme at least till end of the month to draw more people to the mass transport system.
The move is encouraged partly by overwhelming response to the scheme while ongoing speed restriction in the Maharaja's College Ground-Thykoodam section too have factored in.
"The plan is to extend the scheme till month end when speed restriction of 20 to 25 kmph will continue to be enforced in the new line," sources said.
The daily ridership, which hovered around 40, 000 mark till September 3, saw a substantial rise thereafter and touched a record 1,01, 983 passengers on September 12.
When contacted, KMRL Managing Director A.P.M. Mohammed Hanish said a final decision on the same will be taken on September 16 when a data analysis of increase in revenue collection and commuter ridership will be done.
"A data analysis has to be done as to whether the scheme aided in increase in revenue collection or not before announcing any extension of the scheme. We increased the operational hours by an hour instead of usual 10 pm for three days from September 10. However, ridership was less during this period," Mr Hanish said.
The move comes amid demand for fare rationalisation in the wake of substantial rise in ridership.
"If metro services can yield the same or more revenue collection with discounted ticket rate, thanks to additional commuter patronage, then there is a case for continuation of offering subsidised rate at least between key points like Vytilla Hub and South railway station," said Dr Sanal Kumar, a native of Pettah who now travels to his workplace at Kaloor in Metro.