Chennai Metro Rail’s passenger traffic sees a sharp decline in April

Ridership fell from 86.82 lakh in March to 80.87 lakh last month. Officials say the Kilambakkam bus terminus and summer vacations might be possible causes and are planning an analysis to identify other reasons for the sudden dip

Updated - May 13, 2024 12:51 pm IST

Published - May 12, 2024 06:51 pm IST - CHENNAI

According to officials of Chennai Metro Rail Limited, the daily passenger average decreased from 2.8 lakh in March to 2.69 lakh in April. File

According to officials of Chennai Metro Rail Limited, the daily passenger average decreased from 2.8 lakh in March to 2.69 lakh in April. File | Photo Credit: K. Pichumani

After many months, Metro Rail has recorded a drastic drop in ridership, losing nearly 5.94 lakh passengers in April.

The previous such drop was seen last year, when ridership dipped from 85.5 lakh passengers in October 2023 to 80.01 lakh in November 2023.

The ridership once again rose gradually in the following months, with March witnessing 86.82 lakh people travelling in Metro Rail. But in April, only 80.87 lakh passengers used the network.

According to officials of Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL), the daily passenger average decreased by 3.7% — from 2.8 lakh in March to 2.69 lakh in April.

“One of the important reasons for the reduction in passenger traffic is the shifting of the bus terminus from Puratchi Thalaivar Dr. M.G.R. Bus Terminus in Koyambedu to Kalaignar Centenary Bus Terminus in Kilambakkam. When we looked at the data between December and April, the average traffic in CMBT Metro station came down by 6,000 passengers a day. This aside, we presume that there is a fall because many educational institutions are shut for summer holidays and several working professionals may have gone on vacation. Both office-goers and students comprise a significant part of our passenger profile,” an official said.

Officials said they were planning an analysis to identify the other possible reasons for the sudden dip in ridership. Sources said more passengers would come forward to use the system only when last-mile connectivity, such as share autorickshaws, was available for them to drop them closer to their destinations. But even nine years after the launch of Metro Rail services, the officials are still chalking out plans to implement last-mile connectivity.

CMRL recently called for ‘Expressions of Interest’ for last-mile connectivity services from firms and held talks with some of them to see how to establish the service with a viable financial model.

“After the Model Code of Conduct is lifted, we will call for bids to bring in last-mile connectivity in some of the stations,” a source said.

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