The launch of Namma Metro’s extended Green Line on Kanakapura Road on Friday has come as a huge relief for residents who have been waiting for years for commercial operations to begin. Commuters are hoping that last-mile connectivity will be smooth.
Prabhu Dev, a resident who travelled from Yelachenahalli to Silk Institute, said, “People living beyond Yelachenahalli now have a safer and faster mode of travel. However, addressing last-mile connectivity is very crucial. Providing parking facilities for more vehicles would have helped us.”
“Now we can travel to Majestic faster. There should be more buses from the terminal station towards Anjanapura,” said Vinutha K., who travelled with her children.
The opening of the line will also help students travel to their colleges on public transport, now that most institutes have opened their campuses for physical classes.
“Earlier, we were travelling by bus to reach the college, and it would take us more than one hour. Now, we can reach the college in 35 minutes,” said Pranathi R., who took a metro to her college near Thalaghattapura station.
But despite the excitement, ridership remained low on day one as residents remained cautious on account of COVID-19. Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), that is in place on other lines, was followed in all the newly opened stations in accordance with central and State guidelines.
People were allowed entry after screening and sanitising their hands. Due to fewer people on board, social distancing rules were maintained, and commuters wore masks.
BMRCL MD Ajay Seth said that around 5,000 people travelled on the metro on the newly opened extension.
As per the schedule fixed by the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL), during peak hours on working days, trains will be operated with a frequency of 10 minutes from Silk Institute to Nagasandra, and of five minutes from Yelachenahalli to Nagasandra. During non-peak hours, the frequency of trains from Silk Institute to Nagasandra will be 15 minutes.
To facilitate use of common mobility card “One Nation One Card’ in the coming days, the BMRCL has installed Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) System, which supports travel using open loop common mobility cards in all the five stations.
The BMRCL had started construction of the line in May 2016. In the past, it had fixed several deadlines, but missed them for various reasons. This is the first line opened under Phase II of Namma Metro. With commissioning of the southern extension, the total operational length of the Green Line is 30 km from Silk Institute to Nagasandra.
On Thursday evening, the 6-km line from Yelachenahalli to Silk Institute was inaugurated by Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa. Union Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri had participated in the event from New Delhi through video-conferencing.
In an effort to be more energy efficient, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) plans to harness solar energy. All stations on the extended line are going to have rooftop solar power plants with a total capacity of 1.2 MW. The installation of solar power plants is targeted for completion by March 2021.