Namma Metro rides on ‘gawk' power

Madhumathi D.S. Bangalore | Updated on March 12, 2018

Continues to pull curious crowds: A view of Namma Metro in Bangalore

Namma Metro continues to pull curious crowds well above what its authorities have marked as the minimum needed or ‘break-even point'.

On Sunday, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd crossed a 12-day cumulative revenue of Rs 1 crore. As many as 60,600 footfalls on that single day grossed Rs 9.75 lakh.

The tempo of making an average daily collection of Rs 8-9 lakh should last for some more time, said Mr S.S. Hegaraddi, General Manager, Operations.

Tourist spot

“This has become a tourist spot where everyone wants a ride. We expect the joy riders to continue thronging the metro for at least 2-3 months. They have been coming from Davangere, Bijapur (in distant north Karnataka) and Chikballapur and Dodballapur (near Bangalore),” he told Business Line.

Only the 7-km Reach 1 is ready and running now. It is less than 20 per cent of the entire metro plan that will eventually traverse on an East-West and a North-South routes. BMRCL should technically sell rides worth Rs 6 lakh a day - which is what it spends on power consumption and staff salary.

Mr Hegaraddi, who was the Chief Engineer for Reach 1, said holidays so far expectedly peaked around 65,000-70,000 and working days around 45,000.

Euphoric first week

In the euphoric first week, a single day's peak revenue grossed Rs 14 lakh.

The queues grew so long at either ends - M.G.Road and Baiyappanahalli - that BMRCL stretched the trips of four trains by an hour and a half, up to 11.30 p.m. It also had to run them at 10-minute intervals rather than at 15 minutes during non-peak hours to return the people to where they came in at.

The pattern resembles the early days of Delhi metro; on Day 1, however, Namma Metro surpassed it although it ran only from 4 p.m., the official said.

“We ran 90 trips for 3-4 days (to clear the crowds.) Now, we also see genuine commuters coming in with lunch boxes in Indiranagar and the other (sandwiched) stations, too. This trend is gradually picking up.”

Uneven distribution of riders, he said, was the culprit. For everyone wanted to ride end to end, leaving the four halts in between rather vacant. It left many waiting in long queues, but it was quickly overcome by limiting the numbers at either ends.

Smart cards

Over 8,000 smart cards, each at Rs 50 for the reloadable card valid for a year, were sold a month before metro was launched, on October 20. “On an average, 55,000 of the 65,000 rides are by tokens (for single rides.)

Now 20,000 cards have been sold, and commuters will increasingly prefer this,” Mr Hegaraddi said. The next segment, or Reach 3, (NB: Reach 3) from Peenya to Malleswaram on the North-South corridor is planned for December 2012. Reach 3 was being taken up as it had a depot at Peenya; and Reaches 2 and 4, he said, would take longer as they had complex underground portions.

When the entire 44-km metro is in place, hopefully by 2014-15, BMRCL expects to transport about 12 lakh Bangaloreans each day.

Published on October 31, 2011

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