After seeing a surge in the number of commuters availing of its services early this week, Chennai Metro has planned to hold a trial run of trains at a frequency of 2.5 minutes on Saturday.
At present, during weekdays, commuters can get a train every five minutes during peak hours (8.30 a.m.to 10.30 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.) and one every seven minutes during non-peak hours (6 a.m. to 8.30 a.m., 10.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 8.30 p.m. to 10 p.m.).
“This is an attempt to see if the number of people travelling goes up when the frequency is increased. If the trial run proves successful, it is likely to be implemented soon,” said a CMRL official.
According to CMRL officials, they have been making elaborate arrangements for the trial run on Saturday. “There will be about 35-40 trains pressed into service during the run. We will also try and ensure that there are no technical glitches in signalling and other systems,” the official said.
Rise in ridership
At present, one lakh people use the Metro on an average every day.
“We see a consistent increase in the ridership. For instance, we had 1.16 lakh and 1.10 lakh people travelling on Wednesday and Thursday respectively. We have also now introduced share cars at a fixed fare of ₹10 in six more stations this week and hence expect the number of travellers to go up,” another official said.
Even if the trial run is successful with few or no technical issues, another trial run will be conducted next week.
“Only after both the trial runs are successful, will we implement it,” the official added.