With the Delhi Metro’s busiest line — the Blue Line, connecting Dwarka to Ghaziabad and Noida — reopening, total ridership nearly tripled to 53,400 on Wednesday. The Pink Line, which connects Majlis Park to Mayur Vihar Pocket-1 and Trilokpuri to Shiv Vihar, was also made operational on Wednesday.
Till Tuesday, when only the Yellow Line and the Gurgaon Rapid Metro Line were functional, 19,878 people took the trains. The daily average ridership ranged from 26-32 lakh before the pandemic.
Officials said the reason behind the rise was that with new lines reopening, interconnectivity had increased and more people are willing to take the Metro. Of the three lines, most traffic was seen on the Yellow Line, followed by Blue and Pink. On Thursday, the Red, Violet and Green lines will be made functional as well. At present, the Metro functions in two shifts – 7 am to 11 am and 4 pm to 8 pm.
Metro remained shut for 169 days after public transportation was stopped during the imposition of the first lockdown. Buses, autorickshaws and cabs were allowed to start plying before the Metro was restarted. The reopening is being done in a phased manner, with stringent sanitation protocols in place. By Saturday, all Metro lines, including the Airport Line, will be made functional between 6 am and 11 pm.
Metro officials, meanwhile, said that the ridership data was not enough to understand how the trains were being utilised.
“Actual utilisation of a Metro system is reflected in the number of journeys performed by a passenger in completing his/her journey by using one or more lines (line utilisation) and not by ridership alone,” said Anuj Dayal, Executive Director, Corporate Communications, DMRC. A sense of line utilisation can only be understood once all lines are functional.
Officials have said Metro stations falling in containment zones will not be allowed to open. The dwell time — time for which a train halts at the station — has also been increased and will lead to an increase in the overall duration of each journey.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines