DMRC maintains that absolute ridership does not reflect "overall passenger comfort" in terms of availability of multiple alternative routes, reduction in commuting time between many parts of the city, and rise in average distance travelled by commuters.
According to the DMRC, between May 2017 and February 2019, the average distance travelled by commuters rose from 16.49 km to 17.39 km, which the corporation attributed to increase in network length, making it possible for commuters to travel greater distances.
The corporation also pointed out that "line utilisation" has risen. Line utilisation is a concept developed to factor in a person’s commute across corridors, as opposed to counting ridership, where a person is counted only once irrespective of the lines he used to reach his destination.
For example, a passenger travelling from Gurgaon's MG Road station to Noida’s Sector 16 would be counted only once as part of the ridership count. The same person would be counted thrice under the line utilisation - the Yellow line till Hauz Khas, Magenta line till Botanical Garden, and Blue line till Sector16.
Line utilisation figures have risen with launch of newer corridors - from 39.70 lakh in May 2018 to 50.75 lakh in February 2019. In case of ridership, passengers are counted based on token sales and smart card users are counted when they punch out.