Metro phase I extension line draws more commuters


A week after the opening of the new stretch and subsequent reduction in fares, Metro Rail’s ridership has risen from 55,000 to nearly 85,000 passengers a day.

A few months ago, the ridership touched 50,000 and grew to 55,000 a few weeks ago.

According to officials of Chennai Metro Rail Ltd. (CMRL), after the phase I extension project from Washermenpet to Wimco Nagar was opened last Sunday, the average daily number of passengers rose to 74,000.

On Monday, the reduction in fares came into effect and the maximum fare became ₹50 from ₹70, with an additional 20% discount for those who bought smartcards or QR code tickets. “In the last two days, after the reduction in fares, we have witnessed nearly 86,000 passengers a day. We are expecting the ridership to touch one lakh a day very soon,” an official said.

Chennai Central with nearly 7,000 passengers a day has been seeing maximum footfall followed by 4,500 in airport and Thirumangalam stations, the officials said.

“In the phase I extension stretch, Washermenpet and Wimco Nagar stations both have nearly 2,000 passengers a day which is much higher than what we expected. We see that there are many office-goers and college students travelling from the northern areas to the Central parts of the city. In addition, we see a surge in the passenger traffic in Koyambedu station with nearly 3,000 passengers a day. This could be traders travelling to Koyambedu market. But we need to do an elaborate study to know the passenger profile and this will help in understanding the traffic we get,” another official said.

Recently, the last mile connectivity services like share autos have been resumed in select stations but this has to be expanded and provided in all stations; especially from airport to places like Chromepet, Pallavaram and Tambaram, the officials added.

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