Chennai Metro aims to increase its hours of operation, from 4.30 a.m. until 11 p.m., in about two weeks’ time.
The only hitch as of now is that additional security personnel would have to be deployed at stations if services are extended, sources said. Chennai Metro stations are guarded by personnel drawn from a private security firm and the State police, they added.
All the other necessary arrangements, including additional manpower to run trains and manage stations, are already in place to operate the services for the extended duration, another source said.
According to CMRL officials, discussions are on to deploy more security personnel.
“We are already making arrangements and they will be in place at the earliest,” an official said.
At present, Chennai Metro runs services from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. Once the services are extended, there will be one train every half hour during early morning and late night hours. This means, there will be a train at 4.30 a.m., 5 a.m., and 5.30 a.m. From 6 a.m. onwards, there will be a train every seven minutes during peak hours and every 14 minutes during non-peak hours. Similarly, after 10 p.m., there will be a train at 10.30 p.m. and 11 p.m. The first and the last trains will depart from all four terminal stations — St. Thomas Mount, Chennai Central, Washermanpet and Chennai Airport, officials said.
“We want to begin services with a frequency of half hour initially to see how the response is. If we find that several people are using them, then we will certainly increase the frequency in the morning and night as well. We think many passengers taking early morning or late night flights or trains will take this facility,” another source said.