CHENNAI: The euphoria over Chennai Metro may have died down as the crowd is getting thinner day by day but Chennai Metro Rail officials are unperturbed. “We were expecting this. This is a smaller stretch,” said a Chennai Metro Rail spokesman. “The idea behind opening the stretch is to give people an idea about the Metro Rail. This is just a trial,” said the spokesman.
Chennai Metro officials are hoping for a larger crowd once the 20-km stretch from Chennai Egmore to St Thomas Mount gets completed. Of the 20-km stretch, nine kilometres would be underground and is most likely to open by the end of this year, said the spokesman. “Once this stretch is opened, one can travel from Chennai Egmore to Airport. It will link Chennai Egmore, Nehru Park, Kilpauk Medical College, Pachaiyappa’s College, Shenoy Nagar, Anna Nagar East, Anna Nagar Tower and Tirumangalam,” he said. This corridor will go up to St Thomas Mount and passengers can disembark to catch a connecting train to Chennai airport, he added.
Similarly, a separate elevated corridor from Little Mount to Chennai Airport, which is around 7.5 km, will be opened by the end of the year. This will link six stations. These include Little Mount, Guindy, Alandur, Officer’s Training Academy, Meenambakkam and Chennai International Airport.
Once these two stretches are completed, the ridership is expected to increase. Meanwhile, efforts are on to have multi-modal integration soon.