Chennai

Now, a Metro train every five minutes in Chennai

Steady growth in ridership recorded in the last two months, say officials

With patronage increasing, Chennai Metro Rail has decided to add more services. There will be a train every five minutes during peak hours from Monday.

According to Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) officials, commuters can board 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 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.). At present, there is a train every seven minutes.

“For the last two months, we have been witnessing a steady growth in ridership and have about one lakh people people travelling on an average every day. During Monday and Friday alone, there is a sharp increase, in the range of 1.10 lakh to 1.12 lakh. Similarly, we see a spike right before a long weekend,” an official said.

Trial runs completed

Officials said thousands of office-goers were taking the Metro and trains were running full during peak hours. Hence, a decision was taken to improve the frequency of services, officials added. Officials recently conducted trial runs, with trains running at a frequency of 2.5 minutes.

“It is possible to run services at a frequency of 2.5 minutes, but other systems like signalling and telecommunications had minor issues. Therefore, we didn’t want to take a chance. For now, it will suffice if we have trains every five minutes. But if there is an overwhelming need for more services, we can increase the frequency in the coming months,” another official said.

Last year, Chennai Metro was operating trains every five minutes during peak hours, but owing to some issues it decided to reduced the frequency to seven minutes during peak hours.

Twitter posts

Passengers have taken to Twitter to express the need for frequent trains. Natarajan, a commuter, posted: “@cmrlofficial can you pls increase the frequency of trains during peak hours? All the coaches are running double the capacity. It’s right time for increasing the frequency. Thank you. @RailMinIndia #Chennai #chennaimetro.”

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 3:44:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/now-a-metro-train-every-five-minutes/article29255133.ece

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