Odd-even experiment: She took a car, I took the Metro…you won’t believe what happened next

The second phase of the odd-even experiment in Delhi runs from April 15 to 30 and is aimed at reducing pollution and congestion on the roads

Written by Nimish Dubey | New Delhi | Published: April 25, 2016 2:15 pm
New Delhi: Traffic moves at slow pace at ITO, Vikas Marg during the second phase of odd-even scheme, in New Delhi on Monday. PTI Photo by Manvender Vashist (PTI4_18_2016_000022B) Traffic moving at a slow pace at ITO, Vikas Marg during the second phase of odd-even scheme, in New Delhi. (PTI Photo by Manvender Vashist)

My wife and I stay at Mayur Vihar. And we have a routine of sorts. In the morning, we get into the car, drive down to Connaught Place, sit in the Starbucks in the outer circle for an hour and then work out what to do next. The odd-even scheme in Delhi has thrown a spanner of sorts in the works, as we have an even-numbered car. We normally hop into public transport — the Metro generally — for odd numbered days. I always felt that the difference in time taken in travelling by the Metro and by the Car was minimal. The Better Half disagreed and so on April 23, an odd day, we decided to head to the Starbucks in different ways — she would take the car (women in cars are allowed on the roads) and I would take the Metro.

We started off at 12:49 in the afternoon. She was driving from home. I would have to walk about half a kilometre to the Metro station. I got off to a slightly better start as she was stuck at the colony gate leading out to the main road and had to get past a stack of rickshaws. However, she had passed me with a cheery wave when I was still about a hundred yards from the Metro station. And well, she was a good three and a half kilometres ahead by the time I had got into the Metro (having had to wait about four minutes at the station for the train to turn up).

And then the momentum shifted.

For, even though the roads were relatively clear and she had a relatively clear run — she encountered only one long traffic light (72 seconds near Tilak Bridge) — the Metro simply kept gaining. So much so that we reached Connaught Place at almost the same time — she was turning at the Barakhamba Road parking even as I got out at the Barakhamba Road Metro Station. And by the time she had parked, taken her parking ticket and had made her way to Starbucks, I was already there — had beaten her by three clear minutes, arriving at 1:23 as compared to 1:26 by She Who Must Be Obeyed.

odd even, delhi, delhi news, delhi odd even, odd even phase 2, odd even scheme, arvind kejriwal, delhi metro, delhi traffic, AAP, aam aadmi party, delhi pollution, delhi traffic congestion A metro train on the purple line of the ITO-Faridabad corridor in Delhi (Express Photo By Amit Mehra)

The math was simple:

I had spent about 17 minutes in the Metro.
She had spent about 29 minutes in the car.
I had spent about 11 minutes walking. She had spent eight. (I do walk faster and am about a foot taller).
I had spent about six minutes at the station, and I suspect she spent about five minutes in the parking.

Of course, this was just one day. And one of many routes in Delhi. But it did involve one of Delhi’s most notorious ‘jammy’ areas: the ITO crossing, and the wife did get past it relatively smoothly, and in fact encountered very little of the usual traffic mess that defines the area (whether it was because of the odd-even policy or just a coincidence is another story). And I still got there ahead of her.

The Metro’s frequent stops might get on your nerves — some of the stations seem to be barely a kilometre or two apart — but all said and done, they are fewer than the number of times your car will have to stop on the road in an increasingly congested city. And when the Metro moves, it is much faster than a car — it took about 17 minutes to cover the distance my wife took almost 25 minutes to cover in her car (and while she does not speed, she is not a tortoise either). And of course, while you do have to encounter a certain amount of push and shove in the Metro, that is offset by the honking, swearing, veering that marks the capital’s roads.

The conclusion is simple: If you are travelling across a long distance (anything more than 10 kilometres) in Delhi and your destination is within a kilometre of a Metro station, opt for the Metro rather than a car if speed is of the essence.

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  1. S
    Satendra kumar
    Apr 27, 2016 at 2:57 am
    The environmental issues on the mind of delhilite.Better breathing style.
    1. P
      Apr 25, 2016 at 11:46 am
      Namaste Dubey ji !lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;I cant afford the leisure of having a coffee @CP and then decide what to do next. I mostly have to change metro and auto to reach office and must punch card lest my ry is deducted. Hence lesser auto meaning more time and exorbitant tariff they charge matter to me.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;If cars cause so much pollution in Delhi, then why not ban 32 bullet proof ambador (bulky fuel inefficient) cars convoy of Ministers ?
      1. A
        Apr 28, 2016 at 10:48 am
        and u have wasted 30 minutes writing this . everybody is not living in mayur vihar and go to c.p. where direct metro is available. 75% of delhi is not covered by metro and for most of rest of them it is not direct. So u got it . Try it from rohini to gurgaon tommorrow and then let us know.
        1. A
          Apr 26, 2016 at 4:19 am
          Interesting! the conclusion may however not hold for all routes - try the blue line from Dwarka sector 10 metro station to rajeev chowk.
          1. K
            Apr 25, 2016 at 11:04 am
            Nimish bhai, lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Aapko Loo nahi lagi, bhagwan ka shukr hai. Jinko bhari dhoop mien ghoomney ki aadat nahi hai unkey liye metro/ walking wala mode bahut suitable nahi hai. lt;br/gt;Baaki har aadmi ki marzi.
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