The 5.1 km stretch of Rapid Metro Rail Gurgaon Limited (RMGL), India’s first fully privately funded Metro Rail system, was opened to the public on Thursday evoking a lukewarm response from the commuters.
The first train of Rapid Metro rolled out on the tracks at 11 a.m. with 50 students of a government school on board following inauguration by IL&FS Rail Ltd Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Sanjiv Rai. The RMGL had on Wednesday announced to open the metro line to the public on November 14 coinciding with the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
The Rapid Metro connects cyber city, National Highway-8 and the existing Sikanderpur metro station on the Yellow Line of the Delhi Metro and mostly caters to those working in the software companies and some residential areas as well. “I had been waiting for the opening up of Rapid Metro for long. The auto-rickshaws charge Rs.100 to my office from the Sikanderpur metro station. So it is very economical for me to travel in Rapid Metro. Also, it is more comfortable and consume less time compared with auto-rickshaw,” said Neeraj Sheoran, senior software engineer at Accenture in Cyber City.
The Rapid Metro also caters to a large number of residents of DLF Phase-3. “Earlier, I had to take a lift or hire auto-rickshaw to reach Sikanderpur metro station and catch a train to Delhi. With the Rapid Metro station at a walking distance from my house, it has become so easy. The fare collection system of Rapid Metro and Delhi Metro has also been integrated making it very convenient and hassle free,” said Hemant Sharma, a DLF Phase-3 “U” Block resident.
Conceding that the response was lukewarm, the Rapid Metro authorities attributed it to being the opening day of the metro and said that the ridership was expected to increase gradually over the next few weeks.The trains on the first day ran with five minute frequency completing the journey in 13-15 minutes.There are six stations on the route, but only five of them have been opened for now.