Metro ridership expected to be high at weekend

Metro ridership expected to be high at weekend

Metro ridership expected to be high at weekend
What would be the Metro’s ridership on the day of the commercial launch of the east-west corridor, including the underground section, is a question on everybody’s mind.

Everyone, everywhere is talking about Metro, waiting eagerly for the takeoff of the entire corridor between Baiyappanahalli and Mysuru Road via the underground.

While around 2,000 people would be present at the inauguration of the underground section on Friday evening, the initial expectation and projection of travel is around 30,000 to around a lakh passengers over the next two days, which happen to be Saturday and Sunday. The train will be flagged off on Saturday, a holiday for many people in the city. If Saturday takes care of the excitement of the first day’s travel underground, Sunday will take care of the family outings.

An entire family sitting around a table in a hotel spent time discussing when and how the Metro would come and what the implications would be.

Prabhavathi Iyengar, who travels frequently between places in the city, says: “I often travel to Indiranagar and come back to Vijayanagar. So far, I have been catching a bus, K-4, or two buses with one from Majestic. It obviously takes time and if there are too many people, you know how uncomfortable the bus journey can be. To me, Metro is heaven. Even if there is heavy rush, the fact that there is an air-conditioner makes a difference. Also, the journey will take a shorter time, all in all 33 minutes from point to point. So, Metro is worth the wait.”

When the Metro was launched in 2011 between Baiyappanahalli and MG Road, the average ridership recorded in the first few days was around 28,000-30,000. With so much publicity about the Metro since then, people are now aware that Bengaluru has a Metro. That alone could inspire people to take the train this weekend and the numbers could well be higher than the numbers registered in 2011. But, of course, the numbers have come down now and have stabilised at 17,000-18,000 per day on the Baiyappanahalli- MG Road line.

After the first few days of excitement and novelty, the real numbers will come down compared with the numbers during the launch time. Metro officials are not worried about this as they say the crowds would pick up once the entire line is connected.

They also say the north-south corridor is yet to be opened and with that the crowds would go up. Once the entire phase and extensions of lines under the Phase-1 are completed, the travel across the corridor and the city will show a rise. It would take many years before the entire Metro turns in profits, they say.