The Rs 11,420-crore Pune Metro is being readied for its inaugural ride. The 12-km priority stretch of the project with 10 stations is done and dusted. But even before tickets are sold and commuters get to enjoy their first ride in the city, Pune Metro has opened its non-fare revenue account, selling train wrappings and co-branding rights for a couple of stations.
This is a result of foreplanning that took into account the record of other Metro projects in India, which have seen fare revenues fail to cover costs. An earlier study had estimated a revenue gap of Rs 360 crore a year for the Pune Metro, given that it has to pay back Rs 5,800 crore with interest that it has borrowed from overseas development institutions. Since raising fares would have hurt ridership, Pune Metro has set an ambitious target of garnering 50% of its revenues from the non-fare category.
Station naming rights too have found takers. While tendering for co-branding rights for a select ten stations for a period of five years has been carried out, two of these stations have been picked up by companies – the Garware College Metro Station will be co-branded with Sahyadri Hospitals for Rs 3.96 crore while the Nal Stop Metro Station will be co-branded with Shree Venkatesh Buildcon Pvt Ltd for Rs 3.35 crore. Tenders for display of advertisements on trains are also out, with the market displaying an appetite to use this space.