BENGALURU: Office-goers on Monday ditched auto-rickshaws and cabs and hopped on to trains at the newly-launched north-south Metro corridor, which runs from Nagasandra to Yelachenahalli.
While maximum passengers went for a joy ride on Sunday, commuters headed to City and Yeshwanthpur railway stations, apart from Majestic bus terminus and K R Market made most of the service on Monday, the first working day following its inauguration.
The count of senior citizens and students though remained low with lifts not yet operational in many Metro stations and no concessional passes for students unlike in BMTC buses. While this service comes as a huge relief for commuters, woes over inadequate parking space in Metro stations and feeder services continue.
Many stations along the north-south Metro corridor witnessed long queues from Monday morning itself. At Yelachenahalli Metro station, for instance, more than 100 people were lined up in front of counters to get tickets.Staff in Metro stations had a tough time as many first time Metro commuters had several confusions and doubts about routes, destinations, fares and smart cards. However, they patiently guided all commuters to ensure a happy trip. “Most of the commuters wanted to know how to take East-West corridor(Baiyyappanahalli to Mysore Road). They were also confused whether to take another ticket,” said a BMRCL staff.
He said most trains along the north-south Metro corridor were running full during peak hours on Monday.
B Kumar, a regular commuter, said: “I have been suffering because of severe back pain due to the daily ride from my house in Yelachenahalli to workplace in Majestic in two- wheeler. Metro has come as a relief as now, I don’t need to worry about traffic and rain. Metro reaches faster and is more comfortable”.
He said BMRCL should facilitate more parking space for motorists in the stations.
Several commuters boarded Metro train to Lalbagh for a morning walk and also to K R Market to buy vegetables.
“I was waiting since long for Metroto be launched on this stretch. I couldn’t travel on Sunday due to the India- Pakistan match. So we planned our morning walk in Botanical Lalbagh Garden on Monday morning,” said Anitha Krishnan, a resident of J P Nagar.“I will frequently use Metro, especially to buy vegetables from K R Market. It’s not feasible to go to K R Market in a car because of the lack of parking space there,” she adds.
Many auto and cab drivers admitted that their long route rides will be declined because of the metro.
“People traveling in groups are, however, unlikely to use Metro as cabs are more affordable. They will continue to use cabs and autos for last mile connectivity,” said S Manjunath, a regular commuter.