A year since commissioning of the entire first phase of Namma Metro, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) has reported an operational profit — first time since 2012-13.
With nearly 4 lakh people commuting on the metro daily, it has achieved an operational surplus of Rs. 73.11 crore between April 2017 and March 2018, reveals the annual report, which was made public recently. According to the annual report, the total revenue earned was Rs. 337.21 crore, while they spent Rs. 264.1 crore on operations and maintenance.
Phase I, comprising 42.3-km of metro lines, was inaugurated on June 17. Since the opening of the entire line, revenues have risen by 158% when compared to the previous financial year.
Similarly, the average ridership on Purple Line (Baiyappanahalli to Mysuru Road) rose by 55.52% (1.72 lakh passengers per day), while the Green Line (Yelachenahalli to Nagasandra) saw an increase of 238% (1.26 lakh commuters).
However, the operational surplus went entirely to servicing debt and other expenses. In 2017-18, Namma Metro recorded a Rs. 38.73 crore cash loss, a stark reduction from the loss of Rs. 93.67 crore in the previous financial year.
“This has given immense confidence to the company about achieving break-even level of operations in the current financial year 2018-19 even with a marginal surplus, which helps meet a part of its debt obligations,” states the report. The project cost of the phase I project was Rs. 13,845 crore,much of it taken as long-term loans.
Ajay Seth, Managing Director of BMRCL, said while the increased patronage has helped the bottom line, the company has “miles to go”.
“Synergy with BMTC (Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation) on providing first and last mile connectivity is crucial in the coming days. We are working on a common mobility card, which will enable the passengers to use either modes of transport,” he said.
With the introduction of more six coach trains, BMRCL is expecting ridership to touch a half-million mark in the coming days. Similarly, the commissioning of phase II extensions to the existing lines in the coming years will increase ridership.