BENGALURU: Vijay Kumar P D (65) got up at 4 am to catch the first Namma Metro trip from Mysuru Road on Saturday.
A retired polytechnic lecturer and resident of Chamarajapet, he jumped on to his bike and reached the Mysuru Road (Nayandahalli) station at 5.20 am.
He could hardly contain his excitement when he became the first to buy a token when counters opened at 5.45 am.
A Bengaluru resident for over six decades, he is among those dismayed by how the city has spun out of control. But the Metro is putting a smile on his face.
“On Friday, I was watching TV and saw Chief Minister Siddaramaiah inaugurating the service. I thought I should be a part of the first paid trip,” he told Express.
Inaugurated formally on Friday, the Metro opened for business on Saturday.
Vijay Kumar travelled to Byappanahalli and back, the full 18 km stretch now operational. “The Metro is overdue by at least 10 years. If it had come earlier, our city wouldn’t have become so notorious for its traffic,” he said.
Vijay Kumar remembers the days he used to commute between Chamarajpet and his polytechnic at KR Circle. “I would take Avenue Road, a two-way then. I would do the trip in 14 minutes flat,” he recalled.
Later, Avenue Road became one-way, and the same trip took him 40 minutes.
“I feel the good old days are back,” he said, referring to quicker commutes enabled by the Metro.
Vijay Kumar is thrilled to know he is the first ticket-buying passenger on South India’s first-ever underground Metro. He clicked some selfies and posted them on Facebook. He urged fellow-citizens to use public transport, now that the Metro can save them considerable time and money.
Walkers Commute to Cubbon Park
The Namma Metro provided an opportunity for several citizens to travel to Cubbon Park for their morning walk.
Many fitness buffs from Vijayanagar, Rajarajeshwari Nagar and other neighbourhoods along Musuru Road boarded the first and second Metro trips to reach Cubbon Park on Saturday.
A small crowd of techies also enjoyed the journey with their families. Saturday is largely a holiday for the IT sector. After 10 am, many citizens trooped in with their children. Senior citizens were as thrilled as the children when they took a joy ride.
Very few who took the Metro on Saturday went to work. In fact, it saw a holiday crowd trying out the much-anticipated ride.