Blog One Twenty Three
I woke up with a bad news today. Yes, actually a bad news. Newspapers’ today read that Airport Express Metro will shut down for an indefinite period. For me this is a bad news. I am in love with Delhi Metro and Airport Express. For me both these ventures are matter of pride. As the news developed over the day it was said that Airport Express is having some civil issues and also financial difficulties.
I feel cheated on hearing this news, no; no I haven’t invested anything in this project- but still. I feel cheated because something that Delhi is proud of is going to be shut down. Since its inception Airport Express is in trouble and now the biggest fear is around the corner, after 16 months of its inauguration the metro is going to be shut down. There is no statement yet on when the operations would start again.
I am aware that Airport Express is having trouble in keeping the venture financially feasible, but, does that call for shutting of the operations so soon? I mean look at Kingfisher airlines, they are into trouble for last 7 years. And still flying! I don’t know why a company like reliance is having so much trouble, apart from the civil issues which lies with DMRC.
In my opinion the first thing Airport Express should do is to bring down the fare. I understand, they are into premium service business, and they need to make enough money to at least manage daily expenses. But, heck man what is the point of being into business if there is no business at all. The numbers of times I’ve traveled in Airport Express made me notice few thing clearly:
1) Extremely low frequency of trains;
2) High fare;
3) Low speed- sometime even lower than Delhi Metro;
4) Staff at the places where there is no need at all;
5) No use of advertising space.
My idea as a layman, who is NOT an MBA, but, has ability to analyze things to some extent is that the fare as a new project is very high. I understand somebody who is traveling from plane can surely afford Rs 80, but, not somebody who has to travel occasionally or may be daily to office or to some other place. Airport Express should bring down the fare at least 50% down and for no less than one year. The idea is to make people habitual of AE and then increase the fare in different phases.
There is an urgent need to increase the frequency of trains; most of the time when I traveled in AE I had to wait for almost 15-20 minutes.
The speed of this ‘express’ train is way too much slow. This factor is the utmost thing to look after.
I don’t know for what reasons they have marshals IN THE train. Sitting in AE coach is not rocket-science. We don’t need people to guide us how to sit in a metro coach; layoff of people here-save money.
AE has a major advertising space which is empty; especially those glass-doors on platform. Instead of renting out space on a heavy price-tag, Reliance should give out small spaces to small businesses instead of relying on big advertises. This will help get more advertisers with more revenue possibilities.
About Aditya Bhasin
Aditya Bhasin hails fromIndia,Delhi-an avid reader, who enjoys his cup of tea over it, a racist in purest form as he hates chocolate and coffee. He does not like traveling much, but, if he gets an opportunity to travel he chooses to do that by a train instead of a car or a plane. He is an introvert person who is trying to be an extrovert by all possible means.
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