In the month of January 2022 alone, the Kolkata Metro has earned Rs.4.42 crore from its non-fare revenue (NFR) initiatives such as advertisement, hoardings, signage etc. And during the period April 2021 to January 2022, the Metro has earned about 14.43 crores in terms of cumulative Non-Fare Revenue earnings with only 33 stations.
The Kolkata Metro has also designed innovative ideas such as 11 station co-branding, also branding on card balance checking terminals, automatic smart card recharge machines, AFC-PC gates, food kiosks, ATMs, smart cards, etc. From these innovative branding initiatives, the Metro has been earning non-fare revenue to a large extent. In the month of December 2021 alone, the Metro has generated about Rs.2.72 crore and has ranked 3rd amongst all Zonal Railways after Central and Western Railways in terms of monthly non-fare revenue earnings.
The Kolkata Metro has been undertaking several initiatives to enhance its non-fare revenue (NFR). The Metro Railway has been focussing on the earnings from advertisements inside and outside Metro rakes, hoardings on open spaces, signage, and also from installations of health check-up kiosks at different stations. Even during the pandemic, some of the corporate houses have responded to such novel initiatives. It has successfully engaged various corporates for branding of stations, rakes, handle chains, AEC-PC gates, sidewalls of escalators at Metro Stations.
In November 2021, the Metro Railway has signed a 5-year agreement with LIC (Life Insurance Corporation of India), for co-branding of Phoolibagan and City Centre metro stations. Under the agreement, the Metro has lent 1500 sq.ft space each at both stations for branding. Apart from branding at the concourse, platform levels, platform screen doors, pillar wraps, entry/exit gates, the LIC will also install kiosks for promotions and campaigns at the most prominent and floor spaces at these stations and branding of stations entry/exit structure as well as inside. This is for the first time that the Metro has handed over the branding right to a PSU such as LIC.
Recently, the Metro has engaged India`s largest hospital chain, Apollo Multispecialty Hospitals, for branding on their Tri-lingual colourful fare-display boards. These display boards are installed at Park Street and Jatin Das Park stations. Apollo will be able to display their commercials on these Digital Fare Display Boards. According to official information, another 81 such digital display boards will be installed in 26 Metro stations of the North-South Metro corridor. These boards will not only generate non-fare revenue for Metro Railway but also enhance visual impact inside the premises.
In addition, the Kolkata Metro has recently installed photo frames (Ad spaces) on the sidewalls of escalators at 11 stations where corporate houses can display advertisements. There are in all 289 photo frame Ad spaces, mounted on the sidewalls of 34 escalators at these stations. Following advertisements by some of the corporates, others are also showing interest in these projects.
As a novel concept, the Metro has also offered branding space on the handle chains of 12 Medha AC rakes of the North-South Metro corridor. Tata Tiscon, a sister concern of Tata Steel, has obtained the branding right of all the handle chains of these Metro rakes for two years. It is said to be a new concept in the Indian Railway branding project. In the coming days, Kolkata Metro will offer branding rights of handle chains for other rakes wherein corporate can display their logos and products for branding on the hanging portion of the handle chain inside the Metro rakes. Meanwhile, the Kolkata Metro has tied up Tata Steel for co-branding of Chandni Chowk Metro station.
The Metro has also installed engaged Metropolitan Cable Television, known as Platform TV at 7 stations of the East-West corridor, and 23 TV sets have been installed at different stations. And corporate houses are coming forward to display their advertisements for branding.