Last Sunday, Vibha Chandna decided to take her two children, Tamanna and Syna, for a new learning experience in Gurgaon’s Rapid Metro, after running out of ideas to keep them busy over the weekend. The children have experienced the thrill and joy of travelling in the metro of every other country they have toured except their own, and this time Vibha had every reason to take them on their first visit.
As part of its consumer-connect programme, the Rapid Metro has launched a special train for children on Sundays, called the Joy Express, that promises an array of activities including magic shows, tattoo-making, science tricks, origami and puppet-making workshops.
The Joy Express is an initiative by the Rapid Metro to tackle the challenge of getting commuters in Gurgaon to leave their individual vehicles behind and opt for a more eco-friendly mode of transport.
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As giggles and laughter fill the compartments on a leisurely Sunday, children of all age groups can be spotted experimenting with ice-cream sticks to create houses and objects, getting tattoos painted on their arms and legs, and creating scenic landscapes on their canvas, with the help of coordinators.
Tickets for the Joy Express are priced at Rs 200 for an hour, and it runs from 10 am to 6 pm every Sunday from Sikanderpur Metro Station.
“An activity of this kind is happening for the first time in any metro system. On other days, we have different activities to engage with our commuters. The idea is to make their experience unique and enjoyable,” said Rajiv Banga, CEO of Rapid Metro.
As part of its programme to encourage corporate employees to use public transport more frequently, a range of interesting activities promise to keep riders entertained during other days of the week as well.
On Mondays, commuters are asked to take selfies with cut-outs of a young guy and girl, and are called the ‘Guardians of Gurgaon’ for travelling by metro and doing their bit for the environment. This is followed by lucky draw competitions on Tuesdays and on Wednesdays, artists dress up as foreigners and Indians from different states to greet passengers on board.
On Thursdays, commuters are encouraged to tweet about their experiences in the metro, while a musical extravaganza on Friday includes performances by bands and folk musicians. This is followed by a treasure hunt on Saturdays.
Vibha seems more content than her children after the Sunday workshop. She says, “It is a very good initiative and I wish they have more such activities during weekdays. The children are safe in the metro, since the doors do not open at any station for an hour”.