Commuters call on Chennai Metro Rail to increase frequency of rush hour trains

With the average number of passengers riding Chennai Metro trains reaching 2.50 lakh per day, there is a demand to run more trains. | Photo Credit: FILE PHOTO

Seven years ago, Chennai’s metro trains were rather empty and carried an average of only 10,000 passengers a day. But today, nearly 2.50 lakh people take the trains on average during weekdays and the coaches are packed at peak times.

Since the trains are very busy during peak hours (8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.), commuters say there is a need to operate more trains during these hours.

G. Balasubramanian, who travels frequently by metro from the airport to the government estate, said he wanted a train every three minutes during peak hours. “They definitely need to improve the frequency because the number of commuters will only increase in the future. Sometimes there are so many people that we even find it difficult to stand up,” he added.

During the days leading up to a long weekend or public holiday as well, Chennai Metro Rail has to run trains every three minutes, he said.

V. Santhanam, a resident of Chromepet, said many commuters have switched from commuter trains to metro for convenience. “A few years ago, there were hardly any takers, but now that the trains are running at full capacity, they need to attract more commuters and improve the frequency of trains. Thousands of people are using the system to reach Anna Salai and North Chennai,” he added.

According to Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) officials, they are considering options to operate trains every three minutes and see if it is feasible. “We need more trains and additional resources if we have to run every three minutes. We are exploring options now,” an official said.

Carol N. Valencia