Chennai Metro to do away with tokens, reduce number of train services after lockdown

Strict physical distancing measures will be followed at the stations and on trains, and passengers will have to wear masks, officials said

May 08, 2020 12:57 pm | Updated 01:05 pm IST - CHENNAI

Floor markers created to ensure physical distancing

Floor markers created to ensure physical distancing

Chennai Metro Rail will do away with tokens and run trains only every 10 minutes during peak hours and every 15 minutes during non-peak hours, when operations start post the COVID-19 lockdown period. Before the lockdown, trains were operated every five minutes in the peak hours and every seven minutes in the non-peak hours of the day

From strict social distancing rules, to bringing about a rule that passengers have to wear masks, Chennai Metro Rail has a detailed operation plan.

As soon as passengers enter the station, they will be subjected to temperature checks and will be provided with hand sanitisers. When passengers enter the concourse level, they have to head to the ticket counter to purchase a smartcard or a paper ticket.

According to officials of Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL), they have decided to eliminate tokens temporarily. “It will be difficult to sanitise tokens from passengers. So, if we issue paper tickets, it will be collected in a box at the end of the trip which will then be subsequently disposed of carefully. Passengers can use the ticket vending machines only to recharge their smartcards,” an official said.

Officials said the staff will scan baggage without touching, and passengers will be screened through the Door Frame Metal Detector only and the Hand Held Metal Detector will not be used for now. “We want to keep our staff safe as well,” another official said.

In lifts, only four passengers will be allowed, and on escalators, passengers can stand only on alternate steps, officials said. “At both the platform and concourse level, floor markers have been created for maintaining physical distancing and there will be staff to ensure this is followed,” he added.

Physical distancing in trains too

Chennai Metro Rail trains have seven seaters, two seaters and single seaters -- after the lockdown, only three passengers will be allowed to sit in seven seaters and one passenger in two seaters, officials said. “The driver will monitor this through CCTV and when the train stops, passengers will be allowed to de-board first,” he added.

Throughout the day, areas like lifts, escalators, AFC gates, ticket counters and platform chairs will be cleaned every four hours.

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