CHENNAI: At least 40,000 commuters used the Metro Rail during its inaugural run on Monday, according to a Chennai Metro Rail spokesman.
The spokesman told City Express that Metro Rail collected a total of `16.77 lakh on the inaugural day. The services began after 12 pm once it was inaugurated by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.
Alandur, where the inaugural run began, recorded the highest collection of `5.5 lakh. Alandur Metro Station is the only station where the two corridors of Metro Rail (Washermanpet to Airport and Central to St Thomas Mount) intersect. Passengers from the two corridors can change the direction of travel at this station. It is also the only interchange station in the Chennai Metro Rail elevated stations. However, the lowest ticket sales was recorded at Ekattuthangal, the next station to Alandur. It is learnt that Chennai Metro was able to collect `1 lakh in Ekkatuthangal.
A Metro Rail spokesman said that a clearer picture on the collection would come after a week, when the regular users take the services.
On the second day, the interest to experience the metro ride was evident, with families queuing up at the ticket counters.
While heavy fares has been an issue, with a few still thinking twice before taking Metro Rail, one could see a huge interest among youngsters eager to take ride.
The Chennai Metro Rail spokesman said that children below three feet height are entitled to free rides. However, there are no ‘half tickets’ available.
Similarly, the 10 per cent discount offer on fares, if one buys smart cards, is still on. This would reduce the burden on ticket operators and we are encouraging people to buy smart cards, the spokesman said.
He also said that Chennai Metro is using only five trains, instead of nine as planned earlier, on the single line stretch between Ashok Nagar and Alandur, as there was no crossover facility for trains to change tracks.
The Chennai Metro on Monday undertook 109 trips. Usually there will be 192 trips on the stretch — 95 trips from Koyambedu to Alandur and 97 trips from Alandur to Koyambedu.