Unlike at MRTS and suburban train stations, commuters at Chennai Metro rail stations will have to leave the facilities within a stipulated time failing which they will have to pay a penalty. Both the time limit and penalty are yet to be decided, according to the sources at Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL). The limit and penalty may be different for entry and exit within the same station and different stations.
“We don’t want people to stay for long and crowd the station, especially since the stations are to be air-conditioned; hence this rule. This move will also deter miscreants from hanging out in the facilities for a long time,” said an official of CMRL.
The factors that will be considered while fixing the penalty include the frequency of trains, time taken by them to travel between stations and the duration of each halt at a station, sources said.
The penalty for staying beyond the time limit will be imposed on both commuters with a token (a single journey ticket) and smart card holders (a rechargeable card that may be used for multiple journeys).
The penalty system is followed in both Delhi and Bangalore metro systems. In stations in these cities, the commuter enters the paid area from the unpaid area by feeding the token/smart card into a device where the time of entry is registered.
While exiting, if the commuter is found to have stayed beyond the time stipulated, she will be fined.
Delhi metro commuters seemed to approve of this rule. K. Gayatri, (22), who travels from Pitam Pura to Inder Lok every day, says, “This system is ideal as it acts as a bar to miscreants who might otherwise cause us trouble. Moreover, the time limit allotted by the Delhi metro is enough for us to enter and exit the station.”
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) officials said that the system had increased the safety of commuters to a great extent.