Chennai

Poor patronage may force Chennai Metro to reduce frequency of trains

Lockdown blues: With the average number of commuters not crossing 20,000 a day, Chennai Metro Rail Ltd. is planning to reduce the number of trips.   | Photo Credit: B_JOTHI RAMALINGAM

Chennai Metro Rail is likely to change the frequency of trains soon in the 45-km network as the number of passengers travelling is still low.

When the train services resumed on September 7, commuters could board a train in the peak hours once in five minutes and once every seven minutes during the non-peak hours.

Chennai Metro Rail Ltd. (CMRL) is mulling to reduce the frequency and make trains available every seven minutes in the peak hours and every 14 minutes in the non-peak hours, according to sources.

“Another option we have been thinking of is to continue to run trains once every five minutes in peak hours and once in every 14 minutes during the rest of the day. The reason is we have seen that during the non-peak hours, there is barely any traffic and trains are going back and forth with too few a passenger,” an official said.

There are about 18,000-20,000 passengers taking the Metro trains in the weekdays and this number falls to 10,000 on Sundays.

This despite the fact that there is 50% discount on Sunday and 20% discount for QR code tickets on weekdays.

Work from home effect?

“Obviously, a majority of people who travel in our trains are working professionals. So, the traffic will be less now because most office goers are working from home and many have apprehensions on taking public transport. When the workforce is back, we are hoping that the traffic reaches one lakh figure as before lockdown. If traffic gets better over months, we will certainly have more number of services,” the official said.

At present, Chennai Metro runs close to 450 trips a day. With the reduction in frequency, the number of trips may fall, thereby bringing down the expenditure, the sources added.

Sources said plans were afoot to analyse the traffic pattern every hour of the day.

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 3:02:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/poor-patronage-may-force-chennai-metro-to-reduce-frequency-of-trains/article32710254.ece

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