A single day’s figures cannot exactly set or define the trend, but if the number of passengers who travelled by Delhi Metro railway’s new Line 4 on Thursday is anything to go by, this line could well be the one with the highest footfalls.

On the first day of the Yamuna Bank-Anand Vihar line becoming operational, the combined footfalls of Line 3 (Dwarka Sector 9-Noida) and Line 4 (Yamuna Bank-Anand Vihar) shot up by 55,000.

A Delhi Metro official said that with the opening of the new Line 4 the number of passengers who otherwise take the metro from Dilshad Garden fell by 4,000. “From 25,000 who travelled from Dilshad Graden on Wednesday, the figure fell to 21,000 on Thursday,” the official added.

“There has been a major shift in commuters from the Rithala-Dilshad Garden line to the Yamuna Bank-Anand Vihar line. On Thursday about 85,000 people travelled on Line 4, of which 22,000 footfalls were registered at Laxmi Nagar station and 30,000 at Anand Vihar station,” said the official.

Proximity to Ghaziabad

Anand Vihar’s proximity to Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh is one reason why Line 4 seems to have attracted such a high number of passengers. “Initially people from the townships of Kaushambi, Vasundhara, Vaishali and Indirapuram used to take the metro from Dilshad Garden. Most of these people have now shifted to Anand Vihar, which is closer to them. Another reason for shifting is that they no longer need to change trains to reach Rajiv Chowk. They can travel from Anand Vihar to Rajiv Chowk in one train saving both time and money,” the official explained.

Metro officials expect the ridership on Line 4 to go up further. “We are expecting more people as there are parking facilities at several stations along the line, more and more commuters will like to switch from their private vehicles to the metro,” said the official.

Pointing out that the metro reduces the commuting time significantly, he said: “The distance between Anand Vihar and Dilshad Garden, for instance, is about 7 km, but because of the traffic and road conditions the journey sometimes takes as long as 30 minutes. The shift will also spell relief for commuters on the Dilshad Garden stretch because the coaches on this line were always overcrowded by the sheer number of people using it everyday.”

The overall ridership on the entire network has also seen a jump. On Wednesday, the overall ridership was 8.78 lakh; the figure shot up to 9.11 lakh on Thursday after Line 4 became operational.

Trend could continue

“About 18,000 passengers shifted from Line 1 to Line 4 and this transition happened on Thursday. We cannot say whether this trend will continue, but it seems plausible that Line 4 could soon beat Line 3 at being the most crowded,” said a senior official. As of now, Rajiv Chowk and Kashmere Gate stations are the ones with the highest footfalls of over three lakh a day, and Line 3 is the most crowded with 4.5 lakh commuters using it daily.

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