High ridership for metro, but Monday blues for commuters

September 8th, 2008 - 5:19 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 8 (IANS) Yet another Monday morning, yet another ride of push and pull and overcrowded metro to board for work. As evident from the statistics, the Delhi metro gets an overwhelming number of commuters in the beginning of the week, making some regular commuters coin a new name for the metro - an air conditioned Blue line bus!Sakshi Tanwar, for instance, takes the metro each morning to work and then back home. Safe, hassle free and fast - the metro to Tanwar, like to most others, is the most preferred mode of transport.

But come Mondays and she simply dreads the ride.

“It’s a completely different ball game on Monday mornings. Out goes the comfortable ride and in come hordes of passengers, all pushing to get in despite desperate attempts by the metro staff to make them understand that there will be another train coming along after three minutes!,” an exasperated Tanwar, who works as a media communications officer in Connaught Place, said.

Ravi Verma, another commuter said: “It’s mind boggling. Where do so many people come from? It’s not that they are regular commuters otherwise it would have been the same scene everyday. It’s just on Monday mornings that we get the feeling that it’s just another blueline bus, albeit air conditioned one, that we are travelling in!”.

Tanwar and Verma couldn’t be more correct. According to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), the average ridership in the metro on Mondays specifically, jumped by 165,000 from January to August this year.

“The maximum average ridership in the metro is seen on Mondays than the rest of the week and this trend has been seen since the metro became operational in Delhi in 2002. But since January this year, this trend has become even more prominent,” Anuj Dayal, spokesperson of DMRC told IANS.

“The growing average ridership on the Delhi metro on Mondays, which was 675,000 in January this year, has increased to an average of 840,000 by Aug, showing an increase of 25 percent incremental Monday increase,” he added.

So where do all these extra commuters come from?

“The high ridership on Mondays is attributed to most offices being open and people from outside Delhi returning to the capital to resume work,” Dayal said.

“These outstation passengers, after spending the weekend in the suburbs, enter the city at various points such as Shahdara, ISBT, Rithala, Dwarka and Delhi University, which are reasonably close to the borders and are connected by the metro system, thus providing an alternative means of transportation,” he said.

And although steps are taken such as ensuring maximum token counters and trains are operational on this day by the metro staff to handle the crowd, for most people this trend definitely adds to the Monday morning blues!

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