Downtown

Metro Rail pillars put to innovative use

SHORT STOPS: The distance between two bus stops is not less than 500 metres. In contrast, the distance between two pillars next to each other is considerably shorter. Photo: K. Pichumani   | Photo Credit: K_Pichumani

Numbers written in black inside a small circle filled with yellow, mark the concrete pillars built by Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) on the Jawarharlal Nehru (JN) Main Road and Grand Southern Trunk (GST) Road, between Koyambedu and St. Thomas Mount.

While the numbering is a procedure enabling easy count of the pillars, they are being put to innovative use by a section of the public. For commuters travelling in share autos and maxi cabs, between Koyambedu and St.Thomas Mount, using 100 Feet Road and GST Road, these concrete pillars signify ‘stops’. To inform share and maxi cab operators where they want to alight, these commuters just tell them the number of a concrete pillar.

“This form of identification makes it easy for new comers to navigate a region. They can get to a place, though its name eludes them. For outsiders, numbers are easier to remember than names of places,” says K. Rahul, a tourist from Pune, who has used the numbers on the pillars while travelling in this region. The method of going by the markings on the pillars helps share auto and maxi cab drivers as much as it helps commuters. “With the pillars having become maxicab and share auto ‘stops’, many regular MTC commuters along the route travel in share autos and maxi cabs as we can drop them almost exactly where they want to go,” says K. Kumar of Goodwill Auto Drivers Union in Choolaimedu.

Unlike the existing bus stops, which are at least 500 metres away from each other, the distance between any two pillars is considerably shorter. This makes it easy for commuters to get down at a point nearest to their destination rather than walk all the way from where they are dropped by a bus.

According to transport officials, this trend of fixing the pillars as boarding and alighting spots is new — even when compared to Delhi, where Metro Rail is being operated.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2021 9:13:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/metro-rail-pillars-put-to-innovative-use/article6775276.ece

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