The day after Chennai Metro ended free rides following the inaugural of the final stretch of Phase 1, the number of people using the system dipped considerably. On Thursday, about 75,000 people had travelled by the Metro, sources said.
After the inauguration of the 10-km stretch from AG-DMS to Washermanpet on Sunday, the Chennai Metro offered free rides to commuters for the last four days and it resulted in about seven lakh people travelling by the Metro.
It is to be noted that before this 10-km stretch was opened and the Chennai Metro operated for 35 km, the average number of people taking the Metro in a day was about 55,000.
Though the number of people travelling now is 20,000 more than the previous average, sources said, they expected a lot more people to take the travel, now that the entire 45 km of phase I is operational.
“We expect this number to go up in the coming weeks. Eventually, we are considering increasing the frequency of early morning and late night services. This should improve patronage too,” a source said.
Bridging the gap
The contract for last mile connectivity to provide share car and auto services to all 32 stations has been issued and services will begin in a few months.
“Once these services start in all stations, a lot more people will certainly want to use the Chennai Metro. We hope the footfall will soon touch a lakh,” another source said.
After the completion of phase I project now, the maximum fare of Chennai Metro has decreased from ₹70 to ₹60.
But the passengers feel this to be still expensive. So, they may not want to use the Metro, unless the fares were reduced further and last mile connectivity provided.