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On Monday, Kejriwal led AAP government cleared the proposal to make the public transport free for female commuters. This move if implemented could cost the Delhi government around 700-800 crore. While Twitter may be divided over the government’s proposal to make metro and bus ride free for the female the decision raises few important questions.

1. Why free?

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Mr Kejriwal please no freebies in d name of empowerment. Stop treating us as vote banks. This country has suffered enough coz of vote bank politics <a href="">#ArvindKejriwal</a> <br><br>Buses, Metro may be free for women in Delhi | Delhi News - Times of India <a href=""></a></p>— megha manchanda (@manchandamegha) <a href="">June 2, 2019</a></blockquote><script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

After implementing the scheme of free electricity and water, the AAP government has now come up with providing free transport ride to the female commuters? Is it an election gimmick? Does providing free services help at any place? Doesn’t it bring economic loss? Do people make full use of the free grant? The answers to all these questions probably make it clear the feasibility of the new proposal.

2. Exercising choice?

In the proposal cleared by the government, it made its point that the commuters who can afford the ticket can purchase the ticket. However, the question is will anyone exercise this choice? How would the purchasing power parameter be decided?

3. Affect ridership? Prepared for that?

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">And the logic behind it? <a href=""></a></p>— mudit kucheria (@muditkucheria) <a href="">June 2, 2019</a></blockquote><script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

While the step is planned to encourage the female commuters to use the public transport the question, however, is Delhi metro prepared enough to take the burden of increased commuters which would possibly be happening after the free ride. I doubt so!

4. Shouldn’t it be utilized to improve the infra or number of the metro-

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">It is expensive to maintain Metro, best is to offer discount and more security.They are working women , not poor, they expect safe travel,more important - <a href=""></a></p>— vijay banga (@lekh27) <a href="">June 2, 2019</a></blockquote><script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

f it is implemented it would cost about 700-800 Crores to the government? Could this expenditure not be used to improve the infrastructure of buses(including for the safety of women)?

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Author- Neha Wadhwa

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