BANGALORE (Metro Rail News): The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has decided to cast its real estate by expanding the commercial space at metro stations to 2.20 lakh square feet. This decision came after BMRCL’s soaring expenses with revenues yet to reach pre-Covid levels.
A BMRCL official said that “At present, there are about 16 retailers renting a total of 21,000 square feet, which we want to expand”. Officials set Rs 50 crore as the non-fare revenue target for the financial year 2022-23 amidst a slow return to pre-Covid ridership and increased expenses due to the restoration of normal services.
Though the average daily ridership figures have crossed the 3-lakh mark recently but it is still about 35%-40% lower than the 4.5-5 lakh seen during the pre-pandemic days. As per the revenue details for the month of February, the daily fare revenue has come down by Rs 50-70 lakh. The main sources for BMRCL were the license fee or rent from retail outlets, ATMs, parking spaces and others after the non-fare revenue dropped from Rs 41.92 crore in 2019-20 to Rs 24 crore in 2020-21.
After waiving the rent for shops during the lockdown, the BMRCL linked the rent of the commercial space with ridership, adopting a model first implemented by Delhi Metro. Uninspected financial results for last year show the BMRCL earned Rs 60 crore from operations and Rs 74 lakh from other sources. Although the situation is improving yet officials believe that the recovery is a long way ahead. One of the major hindrances to non-fare revenue in Bengaluru is the ban on advertisement hoardings. According to officials advertisements have the potential to increase annual revenue by Rs 100 crore.