Bengaluru Metro experienced a spike in ridership after the much awaited Phase 1 became fully functional. Reports say the daily average rose from 1.25 lakh to 1.75 lakh, as noted on Monday. The IT crowd has helped set the new records: one being the ridership on Monday crossing the 3 lakh mark and the other being three special short loop trains maintaining a 2-minute frequency.
Monday was the first day of fully commercial operations on Phase 1 of Namma Metro. The Green Line recorded an average of 1.2 lakh commuters, whereas the Purple Line recorded nearly 1.9 lakh. In all, the figures rose to 3,07,543.
Ridership spiked to more than 3 lakh from 1.75 lakh, a figure recorded a few months ago. It is expected to rise to 5 lakh after taking Phase 1 into account.
Besides, for the first time between 5 am and 11 am, the ridership surge was a function of the IT crowd commuting from areas like Nagasandra to Yelachenahalli, going towards Baiyappanahalli. The last-mile connectivity was fulfilled by BMTC feeder bus services and office cab services which were available from Baiyappanahalli and Swami Vivekananda Road to the IT hubs.
A report said the state government set aside a budget of Rs 200 crore to improve footpaths around metro stations and is also 'planning to introduce a common mobility card'. Mahendra Jain, chief secretary of the Urban Development department was quoted as saying, "BMRCL and BMTC are working to introduce common mobility cards. After a meeting with the chief secretary last week, we discussed about forming Unified, Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA). We will work out the modalities soon."
A report quoted a study saying that Mysuru Road and Old Madras Road continue to have high Congestion Index -- these corridors continue to carry 4.6 and 2.38 times more vehicles respectively than their actual capacity. The study was done by City Traffic Police Control Cell in Karnataka Road Development Corporation Ltd. (KRDCL). Reports reveal that there are more bus commuters shifting to the Metro rather than the ones who travel by their own vehicles.
The Metro seems to have added to the congestion near the Majestic area. It is being called an "intermodal hub" with Metro adding to the already existing rail and bus hubs.
But the question of whether the Metro has really helped fight the congestion on the city's roads, still remains unanswered.