Left with few options, India's public transport operators brace for a turbulent ride

By Shantanu Nandan Sharma, ET Bureau | Updated May 24, 2020, 06.05AM IST

Before the novel coronavirus turned the world upside down and India imposed a nationwide lockdown, the Hyderabad Metro Rail had a smooth ride: a daily ridership of 400,000 and a monthly income of Rs 45 crore. Today, its revenue is down to just 20%, coming mainly from rentals. It expects the daily ridership to fall by twothirds when the government

more efficiently. He also stresses on making low-interest funds readily available. “The government needs to offer ‘pandemic bridge loans’ to public transport operators, at reduced interest rates for about three years. This would help them buy time to identify alternative financing mechanisms to repay their loans,” says Agarwal. Till then it is going to be a turbulent ride.

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