Metro Rail in the city may have a first-class compartment, setting a precedent in providing a differential class system in the mass transport system. A clear departure from Delhi Metro – which Chennai Metro is modelled on – the proposal was mentioned recently by a Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) official lecturing students at IIT-Madras.

The talk was delivered as part of the postgraduate diploma programme in Metro Rail Technology and Management being offered by IIT- Madras in association with CMRL. Delhi Metro does not have a first class compartment, but reserves a coach for women. Not just Delhi, many Metro networks in the world, including the London Underground network, do not have a first class compartment, as they seek to provide a convenient mass transport system at an affordable cost.

“A senior official told us that a two-class system was under consideration and a few of us wanted to know the rationale,” said a student. Queried on why such a proposal was being considered, the official told them that CMRL wanted to draw both car users and others who use public transport, according to students who attended the lecture. When contacted, CMRL officials maintained that it was too early to comment on the issue of fares and coaches. Officials did not deny it either. Meanwhile, CMRL seems to be working on fixing the fare for Metro Rail.

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