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October 21, 2021

Hyderabad Metro's Suvarna Offer - 2021!


The art of observation has taught me many things. I got an SMS from HMRL and I was curious to know about the Suvarna offer. HMRL uses digital technology liberally and all smart cards are linked with the commuters’ mobile number.

Most regular commuters like me charge their cards with recharge worth excess of a thousand rupees. Earlier a loss of a smart card meant a loss of all the unused recharge amount. But now the minute a smart card is lost/stolen the commuter can immediately complain at the neatest metro station. Through an OTP driven authentication, the remaining value on the recharge of the lost/stolen will be transferred to a new card and HMRL will only charge Rs 50/- for the purchase of a new card.  

In a welcome move Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited introduced Suvarna offer on 18th October 2021. Wanting to cash on the festival season, picking up of the passenger traffic, improved customer sentiment and increased footballs HMRL came out with two unique schemes under the Suvarna Offer. Under the first scheme regular commuters can opt for “pay for 20 trips and get 30 trips”.

In simple terms 20 trips for an individual  trip worth Rs 55/- can be bought for Rs 1100/- but for Rs 1100/- recharge the commuter gets 30 trips. Each trip cost comes down to Rs 37/- (33% discount).

This would mean a discount of Rs 550/- for 15 days and 1100/- for a month. This is very highly appreciable in time when energy costs are literally going through the roof. Allaying fears of a fare rise, HMRL has infact delivered a festival bonus to the commuters making metro fares equal to the cost of a bus travel.

But the catch is any travel irrespective of the distance would be considered as a trip. This would be a boon for regular travelers who travel between fixed station very day.  Regular travelers can utilize the get 30 trips for 20 offer by buying an additional card (for 50 rupees extra) and use it exclusively for their daily fixed office trips. The existing card can be used for unplanned trips.  

So, what does HMRL get from the scheme? It generates lots of good will which will/might lead to commuters commenting in the social media (like I am doing), posting about it and telling their friend, relatives and acquaintances.

The almost similar pricing of metro fares and bus fares might push the bus travelers to shift from bus travel to metro travel. The increasing petrol and diesel prices might make more personal vehicle users move to metro travel.

Regular travelers get a benefit of concessional travel. Finally, the biggest take could be a massive spurt in ridership due to cheaper fare could see increase in revenue through fares and this could lead to HMRL getting better revenues from its advertising, rental and other related income streams.

The only trick that HMRL is missing is a “travel as much as you can” card. Very popular in Delhi Metro, a travel as much as you want is a daily card that can be purchased for Rs 200/-. Commuters especially tourist would prefer a daily fixed fare card and this could mean brisk business on Saturdays, Sundays and on all public holidays. HMRL should definitely look into introducing a travel as much as you can card with a day’s validity.

Under the second scheme travelers in the green line can travel anywhere from M.G. bus stand to Jubilee Bus Stand for fares ranging from Rs 10 to 15/-. Suvarna offers’ validity is from October 18th October, 2021 to 15th January, 2022!

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