Women can expect hassle-free travel on the Chennai Metro Rail as two-thirds of one of the coaches will be reserved for them.
Sharing this information with reporters while taking them on a test ride on the stretch between the Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus (CMBT) and Ashok Nagar on Saturday, deputy general manager of Chennai Metro Rail (Rolling stock) Rajendran said there will be partition to demarcate the women’s section.
“The section will have 26 seats besides space for 250 women passengers (both sitting and standing) during peak hours,” Rajendran said.
The coach will have special signage specifying it is meant for women. This facility is available only on Delhi Metro,” he said. Even the hand grips in that section will be designed considering the ergonomics of women passengers. This will help reduce posture-induced stress and ensure comfort.
On the other side of the partition for women will be a special or premium class. No other metro has such premium facility except Dubai Metro. It is being introduced on an experimental basis. “If there is not enough patronage, it will be scraped; but if successful, we could look at providing more space,” Rajendran said. The special class would have a seating capacity of 14 and a total space for 76 passengers (both sitting and standing).
Seats in the premium segment would be designed to be more comfortable and attractive by utilising a fabric material and seat cushions. “We thought of having the special class after seeing the popularity of First Class in suburban rail,” he said.
The train will also have four seats in every standard class car reserved for people with special needs, including pregnant women. A total of five per cent of seats will be reserved for disabled persons. It will also have wheel chair egress request signal to alert the operator to stop the car for a sufficiently long time so that the diff-abled can board or get off the train. Besides, each driving motorcar of a four-car rake will have two wheel chair parking area.
The Metro Rail train will keep performing test runs on the elevated stretch for the next four to six months before it gets certified by the statutory authorities.