More women may use Metro, but difficult to calculate fiscal burden | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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More women may use Metro, but difficult to calculate fiscal burden

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByAbhishek Jha
Jun 04, 2019 06:26 AM IST

Since neither Delhi Metro, nor DTC or cluster buses have an accurate gender break-up of passengers, the fiscal cost of such a policy is difficult to ascertain.

Delhi government has announced that it plans to make travelling free for women in Delhi Metro and Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and so-called cluster buses. The average daily ridership in these modes of public transport is expected to be at least seven million. According to figures given in the Delhi government’s Economic Survey of Delhi 2018-19, daily average ridership in 2017-18 in Delhi Metro (excluding airport express line), DTC buses and cluster buses was 2.5, 3 and 1.2 million, respectively.

The actual share of women travellers among all users of such services could be higher as women have a much lower share among workers than in the total population.(HT Photo)
The actual share of women travellers among all users of such services could be higher as women have a much lower share among workers than in the total population.(HT Photo)

Since neither Delhi Metro, nor DTC or cluster buses have an accurate gender break-up of passengers, the fiscal cost of such a policy is difficult to ascertain.

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To be sure, a waiver of fares might lead to a significant increase in usage of these public transport facilities by women, who might travel more as they do not have to worry about the cost of transportation or junk other modes of transport to avail of these facilities.

According to the 2011 census data on other workers, a category which basically captures non-agricultural workforce in the economy, women workers accounted for less than one-fifth of total workers using either train or bus to travel to work.

The actual share of women travellers among all users of such services could be higher as women have a much lower share among workers than in the total population. According to statistics given in the Periodic Labour Force Survey conducted in 2017-18, the labour force participation rate (LFPR) of men and women in urban areas of Delhi was 57.7% and 11.4%. The figure was 46.9% and 2.2% for rural areas. LFPR captures the share of persons in the total population who are either employed or looking for work.

Another way to measure the possible financial burden of such a policy can be to look at the probable reduction in Delhi Metro’s fare-box collections (ticket sales earnings) by assuming different share of women passengers. Delhi Metro’s total ticket sale earnings were 6,211 crore in 2017-18. The estimated revenue loss due to a fare-waiver for women could be anywhere from 261 crore to 784 crore assuming a 10%-30% share of women passengers.

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