Church Street traffic ban boosted metro ridership

Weekend traffic ban on Church Street boosted metro ridership, business

The analysis of ridership at MG Road metro station, which also takes into account the impact of the pandemic

Representative Image. Credit: DH File Photo

The weekend traffic ban on Church Street boosted the ridership at MG Road Metro Station as well as increased footfalls at the shops and establishments in the surrounding areas.

Church Street was closed during the weekends starting from November 7, 2020, to February 28, 2021, as part of Clean Air Street Initiative taken up by Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) in association with Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and other agencies.

Apart from the improvement in the air quality as reported by DH in January, the initiative's move to make the neighbourhood pedestrian-friendly led to several positive impacts that make the city sustainable.

The analysis of ridership at MG Road metro station, which also takes into account the impact of the pandemic, showed that the numbers went up progressively during the weekends of the four months.

"The number of passengers boarding and alighting at MG Road metro station during weekends in February 2021 is almost 2.6 times that of November 2020, i.e., an increase of 162% is observed from November 2020 to February 2021," said the report authored by IISc prof Ashish Verma and research scholar Hemanthini Allirani.

The researchers also studied boarding and alighting at four nearby bus stops. Brigade Road, Mayo Hall and Bowring Institute witnessed an increase in number of passengers boarding and alighting but the change at Chinnaswamy Stadium was marginal.

Also read: Weekend traffic ban on Church Street goes, for now

Shop owners on Church Street reported increased business activity with 35% of them agreeing that pedestrianisation resulted in an overall positive effect on their business, 16% responded neutrally and 49% disagreed with the statement.

However, 81% of the shop owners said they were satisfied with improved air quality compared to the weekends before pedestrianization. "Almost 50% of the shop owners recommend extending the pedestrianisation of Church Street beyond February 2021," the study said.

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