In an eagerly awaited development, the RapidX commuter trains are poised to commence passenger services on October 21, a day following their official inauguration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. These state-of-the-art six-coach RapidX trains are designed to enhance the public transportation experience, featuring one premium class coach alongside five standard coaches.
The National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC), the agency spearheading the Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) initiative, has unveiled the fare structure for the 17-kilometer priority section, connecting Sahibabad to Duhai Depot in Ghaziabad. This particular stretch marks the country’s pioneering RRTS sector set to launch passenger operations and encompasses key stations such as Sahibabad, Ghaziabad, Guldhar, Duhai, and Duhai Depot.
Passengers embarking on the journey in a standard class coach can expect to pay a reasonable ₹50 for a one-way trip between Sahibabad and Duhai Depot, while those opting for the premium coach will experience a slightly higher fare of ₹100 for the same distance.
For most commuters traveling between Ghaziabad and Sahibabad, the costs are set at ₹30 for a standard class ride up to the Sahibabad RRTS station, with premium class travel priced at ₹60.
The fare chart reveals that the cost per kilometer for the entire 17-kilometer priority section amounts to ₹2.94 in a standard coach and ₹5.88 in a premium coach. It’s noteworthy that this pricing structure deviates from the initial 2009 project report on the RRTS initiative, which had projected an initial fare of ₹2 per kilometer for the entire 82-kilometer network, subject to inflation and price adjustments.
In comparison to the alternative modes of transport, where hired autos often charge between ₹100 and ₹150 for the 17-kilometer journey between Sahibabad and Duhai Depot, and between ₹75 and ₹90 for the Ghaziabad to Sahibabad route, the RapidX fares remain competitive.
Notably, the option of using the Metro for travel between these points is unavailable. According to Delhi Metro sources, fares on their network range from a minimum of ₹10 to a maximum of ₹60.
NCRTC officials have elaborated on the rationale behind these fare structures, indicating that they were meticulously established following a comprehensive study conducted by the prestigious IIM-Ahmedabad. These considerations encompassed factors such as cost analysis, financial viability, comparative pricing in other global transit systems, and the recovery of operational expenses. It is essential to recognize that the RapidX system is distinct from the Metro, rendering direct comparisons unfeasible.
Additionally, NCRTC has catered to various passenger categories. Children under 90 centimeters in height will enjoy complimentary travel, while an array of ticketing options has been introduced. Passengers can avail themselves of digital QR code-based tickets through the RAPIDX Connect smartphone application, the national common mobility card (NCMC), ticket vending machines (TVMs), and paper QR code-based journey tickets.
Sahibabad and Ghaziabad stations are equipped with four TVMs each, and Guldhar, Duhai, and Duhai Depot stations have two TVMs each for the convenience of travelers.
Furthermore, passengers can carry luggage with dimensions measuring 80 centimeters by 50 centimeters by 30 centimeters and weighing up to a maximum of 25 kilograms per person.
This development marks an exciting milestone in the region’s public transportation landscape, promising an accessible, efficient, and convenient mode of travel for commuters.