A recent study by IIM-Ahmedabad has reported that the Bullet Train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad will have to ferry 88,000 to 1,18,000 passengers or make 100 trips PER DAY to make it financially viable.
“Dedicated High Speed Railway Networks in India: Issues in Development” is the name of the report which states that just to repay the Japanese loan in time, the trains will have to ferry around 1 lac passengers daily between the two cities with a ticket price of Rs. 1,500 for 300 Kms average run.
Typically one Bullet Train will be carrying 800 passengers.
This basically means that it will be required to have 3 trains leaving every hour in each direction. So it will be like one train leaving every 20 mins from Mumbai towards Ahmedabad and one train every 20 mins from Ahmedabad toward Mumbai with every passengers travelling a minimum distance of 300 kms (which is just beyond the halfway mark of the total distance of 534 kms).
And this is all provided the Government can keep the ticket cost at Rs. 1,500 for a 300 Km trip without giving any sort of concessions, benefits or subsidies for the entire period of 50 years !!!
Currently we have around 20 flights between the two cities which are priced between Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 3,500 even if you plan to book one day in advance. Total ferried passengers on full flights would be 7,000.
The current train traffic between Mumbai and Ahmedabad is pegged at around 15,000 people daily.
So with a total daily traffic of 22,000 people travelling between the two cities daily, we will be still short of almost 60,000 to 80,000 people.
And that would also mean that all Flights and other trains between the two cities will be shut off and the people who are currently paying Rs. 300 – 500 for the journey will have to also shell out almost thrice the amount of money for the same journey.
Now, you cant rubbish this study as it comes one of the top notch institutes of the Country. IIM-A is not just riff raff.
You cant even call this study Anti-National because the Institute is in Gujarat, which is Modi’s Hometurf.
And you cant even say that IIM-A is against Modi since it has given us products like Chetan Bhagat (sigh).
So, according to this study, it does appear that the Bullet Train project is going to make a severe dent in our pockets and seems to be doomed even before it has started.
All, it will give, perhaps, is some rhetorics about development for Modi to include in his speech.
Disclaimer: This study has not been conducted by me but by IIM-A, if you want to debate it, debate it with them. That is if they even entertain you in their Institute, I have heard Admissions in IIM-A are not as easy as registering an account on Facebook and Googling Wikipedia to get into debates.
EDIT: Here is the actual report. All 36 pages of it. Read it.