The DMRC has set new travel time limits for commuter journey length to prevent loitering at stations, and failing to adhere to which will attract a penalty.
Commuters traveling a distance for which the fare is up to Rs 18 (approximately 9 stations) would be allowed to stay inside the metro premises for 65 minutes.
“The time limit is 100 minutes for traveling up to 14 stations (fare up to Rs 23) and 180 minutes for 15 and above (fare above Rs 23),” said a senior DMRC official. “This is aimed at controlling over crowding at stations. Also, it has come to our notice that several people loiter in station premises,” said the official. The new time limits will come into force from Monday.
The DMRC will make announcements regarding the same till January 31. The official said offenders will be penalized only from February 1. “From Monday to January 31, the travel cards or token of commuters staying beyond the stipulated time will show error numer 159. They will then have to report to customer care centres to make an exit without any penalty,” the official said.
The new time limits, the official said, have been arrived at after calculating the maximum possible time that a commuter could take to travel specific distances. At present, commuters are allowed to stay inside the metro premises for 170 minutes if they enter from one station and exit from another irrespective of the distance traveled.
Every month, more than 1 lakh commuters are penalized for overstaying in the metro facility. “In December last year, 1,08,513 passengers were booked for overstaying in the system while 1,13,972 people were penalized in November. This contributes significantly to the problem of over crowding,” the official said. The stations covered under the three time zones will be displayed at all stations. This will help commuters ascertain in how much time they should make an exit.
For example, if a commuter is traveling from Barakhamba Road to Ramkrishna Ashram Marg, he would have to exit the system within 65 minutes as the destination would be within the first time zone (of about nine stations). “The list of stations covered under this zone and the subsequent zones would be displayed at the Barakhamba Road station itself,” he explained.
A penalty of Rs 10 per extra hour and maximum Rs 50 (as per DMRC business rules) will be imposed for any breach of the time limit from February 1.