Drop in Delhi Metro ridership no worries for OOH players
By Bhawana Anand - December 05, 2017
DMRC maintains that the decline in ridership in the month of October was a temporary blip and that the fare hike was long due; media owners state that brand advertisers will not be detracted by the ridership fall as their TGs continue to travel by the Metro trains
Release of Delhi Metro’s quarterly ridership data caused a furore in the political circles. The Metro’s daily average ridership had come down to 24.2 lakh in October from 27.4 lakh in September, translating to a fall of around 11%. It was being pointed out that almost 3 lakh commuters were keeping of the Metro owing to the fare hike. The big question posed to the OOH industry was, would the fall in ridership hurt the media owners and advertisers in this transit space.
Dismissing any such misgiving, a DMRC official said the month of October had several holidays and with offices, schools and colleges shut on those days the passenger traffic was bound to come down. Moreover, the residents of Delhi were urged to stay indoors due to the smog which also caused a huge decline in the ridership; this is a temporary blip in ridership.”
While commenting on the increase in Metro fares, the official explained that the fares were last hiked in 2009 and so it was nothing unjustified as the metro also has its debt to pay. He also pointed out that for most Metro commuters who earn an average Rs 30,000-50,000 a month, spending Rs 500-1,000 for Metro service in a month should not be a challenge.
When the entire episode became political agenda and the most discussed topic in the capital, did the media owners handling the metro advertising rights get worrisome? Clearly stating “No” as his answer, Jatinder Singh, VP - Sales, TDI International India said, “There is nothing to worry as the audience that has switched to alternative modes of transportation was never the regular travelers on the Metro and they are not the TG of our clients. The brands advertising on metro media target travelers who have got income up to a certain level and certainly can afford the metro media even after the fare hikes”.
Echoing that view, Praveen Gupta, Director, eg. communications said, “The entire issue is politicised. October had 5 Saturdays & Sundays and then all festivals fell in the same month and so the regular commuters who use the metro for office and work-related travelling were not on the network. There is no effect on the advertising.”