Namma Metro has miles to go before decongesting B'luru

Namma Metro has miles to go before decongesting B'luru

Hit by lack of last-mile links, packed coaches, high parking fee

Namma Metro has miles to go before decongesting B'luru

With a daily ridership barely crossing three lakh, the city seems to be taking its time in embracing the Metro as a reliable mode of transport as crowded coaches, glitches and protests put BMRCL under strain.

The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) expects the ridership to cross five lakh in the coming months but commuters say the target can be met only if authorities increase the number of coaches.

Crowded trains
“We struggle to reach Metro stations and then we have to push and shove to enter and exit the train. The whole ride is suffocating,” said Harish Kannan, who travels from Jayanagar to Baiyappanahalli.

Replying to a complaint on the difficulty in entering trains, Venkat Ramakrishnan tweeted, “The guards on the platform push passengers inside an overcrowded coach at Majestic. This is taken care of.” BMRCL, managing director, Pradeep Singh Kharola, said six-car trains will be introduced by December. “BEML, which has bagged the tender to build coaches for Namma Metro, will start supplying them by December. In the months following that, three cars will be added to more trains to make travelling convenient,” he said.

Lack of first-and last-mile connectivity has kept away lakhs of commuters away from Metro. A WRI survey found that nearly 90% of those taking the Metro at Baiyappanahalli live within two or three km from the station.

Those who live beyond five km, prefer BMTC or their private vehicles which prove more economical considering that they have to pay for autorickshaws or taxis in the absence of BMTC buses.

High parking fee
Even those who live nearby find travelling by Metro costlier when they include the parking fee. Contractors manning the parking lots charge Rs 30 a day for bikes and Rs 60 a day for cars.

Metro will not be able to decongest traffic if people do not find it economical and reliable. “I walk nearly two kilometre to reach Peenya Metro station. My friends, who used to reach the station by bike, have dropped out as they couldn’t pay Rs 700 every month for parking,” said Manish Gupta, a techie.

Sunshine days ahead
Meanwhile, the Metro’s average daily revenue crossed Rs 1.5 crore between July 1 and 20.

“Before June 17, when the south stretch was not yet connected, the revenue was about Rs 35 lakh a day. Now that it has crossed Rs 1 crore, the days when our operational costs were more than the revenues, are over. However, our operational costs have also increased since the opening of the entire North-South line. We can’t talk of profit yet,” BMRCL sources said.

Additional Commissioner of Police R Hithendra noted that Phase 2 and further phases of Namma Metro should be completed soon to decongest road traffic. “They should add more lines as quickly as possible. We require at least 200 km metro line to feel the reduction of vehicles on road,” he said.

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