NEW DELHI: The Delhi Metro railway has achieved a historic milestone with over one billion passengers having travelled on its vast network since it began operations in the Capital in December 2002. “We crossed the one billion mark on Thursday. The figure is almost equivalent to the population of the country,” gushed a Delhi Metro Rail Corporation spokesperson on Friday.
Tracing the journey of the Delhi Metro, he recalled that the service became operational on December 25, 2002, and was initially limited to a small stretch of 8.5 km. “Today it stretches across 90 km and by October next year another 100 km would be added to the metro’s growing network,” he added.
The eventful journey that began from Shahdara to Tis Hazari seven years ago now stretches across the Yamuna on one side and will soon be extended up to Delhi airport on the other. It has crossed into Noida in Uttar Pradesh next door and will reach Gurgaon in Haryana next year.
The expansion of the network has meant a sharp increase in ridership as well. From a mere 35,000 passengers who began using the metro about seven years ago, the figure now stands at about 9 lakh across the network’s three lines.
“The average daily ridership has gone up to 9 lakh. With massive expansion over the past seven years, the number of people who have availed of the metro services touched a record 1,014,955,894 on Thursday.”
The Delhi Metro also recorded its highest ridership during the just-ended Trade Fair at Pragati Maidan this year with the figure touching 10.29 lakh on November 24.