HYDERABAD: Metro trains chugged along its overhead viaduct at an increased speed and frequency on Saturday.
As one train left Habsiguda metro station at 11:41 am, the next arrived at 11:49 am. The speed too has increased, albeit slightly, said regular travellers.
A Metro regular shared that Habsiguda to Begumpet trip, which normally took around 30 minutes, was reduced to 22 minutes on Saturday. The credit for this goes to the initiation of Communication-based Train Control (CBTC), which was also started on Saturday.
Commuters expressed happiness over the increased frequency of trains as they do not have to wait for long now. "There is very little wait time required. If we have smart cards, then it's even lesser," said K Kiran Mayee, a student who travels from Habsiguda to Ameerpet during peak hours. Another passenger, travelling from Secunderabad East to Kukatpally, said that though the trip is time saving, it is a little heavy on her pocket. "I spend around Rs 80 per trip and then there is no last mile connectivity. Travelling in bus in summer, after getting off a comfortable AC train is difficult. I have to bargain with the autos and then pay another Rs 40. If HMRL can work this out, we will be happy customers," said Deepika Shanker, a 28 year old, working in a private company.
As per HMRL's announcement on Friday, the frequency of trains were revised from 15 minutes (Nagole-Ameerpet stretch) to eight minutes during regular hours and seven minutes during peak hours, which falls in between 8 to 10 am and 5 to 8 pm respectively.
The frequency of trains running through the Ameerpet-Miyapur stretch was eight minutes even before Saturday.
HMRL had begun its operations with 18 trains on November 28 between Uppal depot and Miyapur via Ameerpet. Though operations were started, trains were being run without the automatic signalling system called Communication-based Train Control(CBTC). "Trains used to stop or wait for another train to leave the station, and thus go slow between Ameerpet and Mettuguda. It used to be pretty frustrating to travel in a slow metro. Things appear to have changed," said K Swati, a regular commuter on this stretch.