Namma Metro: painful wait at stations for elders, women

Namma Metro: painful wait at stations for elders, women

Namma Metro commuters. (DH Infographic)

If the rush on peak hour trains has made travelling by Namma Metro difficult for some, lack of seating arrangements at stations during the long-waiting period during lean hours is a put-off for thousands of people, especially elders.

Of the 40 stations in Namma Metro’s Phase 1, only four or five see less than 5,000 passengers per day with stations like Baiyappanahalli seeing a footfall of about 30,000. The figures for all stations further go up during special occasions and long weekends.

However, the number of seats in Metro stations ranges from nine to 15, too scarce considering the rush on platforms at most of the stations. Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) had earlier said that the Metro ecosystem is meant for rapid transport where people do not have to wait.

But the waiting for trains on the Purple Line (Baiyappanahalli-Mysuru Road) goes up from 3 minutes in peak hours to 15 minutes in non-peak hours. For the Green Line, the train runs every 20 minutes in lean periods.

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“Elders and women suffer the most as they have to stand for 10 to 15 minutes. If one is switching lines at Kempegowda, add another five minutes. The waiting time makes Metro unfriendly for many,” said regular commuter Giridhar Reddy.

Pramila Raj said she books a cab while travelling with her mother. “The only good thing about the Metro is that it is predictable and helps avoid traffic. Last time, people did not leave a seat even after I made a request to them and my mother had to stand for about 12 minutes and then travel on a crowded train. So, I prefer cabs and autorickshaws now,” she said.

Waiting area at concourse?

Responding to the issue, BMRCL managing director Ajay Seth said adding more seats on the platform was not a feasible idea considering limited space. “However, considering the interest of the commuters, we can think of providing such a facility in the concourse area,” he said.

When it was pointed out that at many stations, people do not get information on the departure of trains due to the absence of display boards in the area, he said, “We will look into the issue and take steps to improve  convenience of passengers.”