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Delhi Metro, bus rides to be free for women, announces CM Arvind Kejriwal

Women in Delhi will be allowed to travel completely free of cost on all DTC buses, cluster buses and Delhi metro trains.

Jun 3, 2019 17:01 IST
Delhi Metro, bus rides to be free for women, announces CM Arvind Kejriwal

In a major step, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has announced free of cost Delhi Metro and DTC bus rides for women. The announcement comes when less than 9 months are remaining for the Delhi state assembly elections, which are due early in 2020.
The Chief Minister made the announcement of the free ride scheme during a press conference in Delhi on June 3, 2019. As per the announcement, the expenses of the free metro and bus rides will be borne by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government.  The scheme is expected to cost the Delhi government Rs 700 crore this year.
Objective
The main objective of providing free Delhi Metro and DTC rides is to ensure safe travel experience for women in the capital city.

Free Ride Scheme

The women in Delhi will be allowed to travel completely free of cost on all DTC buses, cluster buses and Delhi metro trains so that they have a safe travel experience.

The free ride scheme will enable women to access the modes of public transport that they were not able to earlier due to high prices.

The scheme to be optional!
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal clarified that the free ride scheme will be optional, it would not be imposed on anyone.
The Chief Minister said that those women, who can afford to purchase the tickets, needn’t take the subsidy. "There are several women who can afford these modes of transport. Those who can afford can purchase tickets, they needn't take subsidy. We encourage those, who can afford, to buy tickets and not take subsidy so that others could benefit," Arvind Kejriwal said.
When will the scheme be launched?
The scheme is currently just a proposal and has not been launched yet. The move is yet to be cleared by the centre.
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has given a week’s time to the Delhi government officials to make a detailed proposal to both DTC and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation on how and when the scheme can be implemented.
The Delhi Government is also seeking suggestions from people, regarding the implementation of the scheme
Key Challenges
As per Transport Department officials, implementation of the free ride scheme may not be difficult in DTC and cluster buses, however, it may prove to be challenging in the Delhi metro, as the Delhi government and the Centre are 50:50 equity partners in the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.

Background

The Aam Aadmi Party faced a near wipe-out in the recent Lok Sabha Elections after it failed to win even a single seat among Delhi’s seven Lok Sabha seats.

The BJP retained all the seven seats, increasing the threat it poses to AAP in the upcoming Delhi assembly polls.

AAP had swept 67 of the 70 seats in Delhi’s state assembly in the last elections.