Still a long way off from pre-pandemic levels of over 4 lakh commuters
An increasing number of people have resumed using Namma Metro services over the last few months. While the average daily ridership was 1.66 lakh in July, it crossed 2 lakh in October. “On some days, especially on Mondays, ridership increases considerably. On October 4, more than 2.5 lakh people travelled in a single day. Gradually, patronage will increase in the coming months,” said B.L. Yeshwanth Chavan, Chief PRO, Bangalore Metropolitan Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL).
He added that in August, the average number of riders on both the Purple and Green lines was 1.86 lakh; it increased to 1.99 lakh in September.
While the numbers point to a resumption of normal life, ridership levels are still around 50% less than what they were before COVID-19. Prior to the pandemic, more than 4.15 lakh commuters were using Namma Metro services. At the time, BMRCL was generating over ₹1 crore per day. Currently, daily revenue is around ₹45 lakh per day.
Nearly 8,000 passengers currently use the Kengeri metro line – which opened for commercial operations on August 30 – every day. On some days, ridership touched upto 10,000 per day. At present, trains towards Kengeri operate with a frequency of ten minutes. There has been demand by the passengers to increase the frequency of trains operated to the newly-opened line.
“We are running trains keeping in mind the patronage. A sufficient number of trains are operating on the new line and for the time being there are no plans to increase the frequency of the lines,” said Mr. Chavan.
Prior to opening the line, the BMRCL had estimated that the Kengeri line would benefit 75,000 people. The number is expected to increase when working professionals start to shift from work from home to work from the office.
The opening of the line has helped students of various colleges located on the Mysuru Road. Prajwal, an engineering student said, “I travel from Majestic to Kengeri metro station. The extended metro has resulted in reduced travel time. The BMRCL should speed up the metro work beyond Kengeri. Opening of the line till Challaghatta will help hundreds of students studying in various colleges.”
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