S. Vydhianathan

Number of commuters crosses 5 lakh, thanks to fuel crisis

“We have to see whether the current increase in passengers continues in future”

CHENNAI: There has been a significant increase in the number of suburban commuters in the last three days.

On an average about 4.7 lakh commuters take suburban trains daily for commuting in the city and suburban areas. But on June 30, when Chennai and its suburbs reeled under fuel crisis and traffic pile-ups as a result of the crowd at petrol bunks, the number of passengers in suburban services crossed five-lakh mark.

From 5.15 lakh passengers on June 30, it rose to 5.38 lakh on July 1 and touched a record 5.9 lakh commuters on Wednesday.

Southern Railway sources here said the increase in passenger response to the suburban services, especially to the Mass Rapid Transit System between Chennai Beach and Velachery might be owing to the diesel and petrol shortage in the city. But normally in the first week of every month there would be an increase in the ticket sales in all suburban stations. Season ticket-holders who usually renew their season tickets during the first week, used to purchase tickets till the renewal.

“We have to see whether the current increase in passengers continues in the days to come. Only after seeing the traffic pattern in the next 10 days it would be possible to arrive at a definite conclusion.” they added.