BENGALURU: Surprise and relief were writ large on the faces of commuters heading from Bengaluru West towards East as Metro’s first batch of trains to run on a four-minute frequency began operations on Monday morning at Mysore Road station.
While a few were aware of the increase in frequency on working days between 9.10am and 9.58am on the Purple Line (Mysore Road towards Baiyappanahalli) announced a couple of days ago, many were in for a pleasant surprise when the boards displayed new timings for train arrivals. Trains used to run at a 5-minute frequency during the peak time earlier.
Rakesh K J, employed as an acounts officer at Ami Corp and heading to Indiranagar on the 9.10am train, the first to run as per the four-minute schedule, bills this a very good move. “It was a surprise for me when I saw the changed train timing. This will be really very good for office-goers.”
Advertising professional Manesh T T dashed to board a train and narrowly missed it. Stating that the reduction in timing between trains is “very convenient for passengers,” he laughs and says, “For me, it is such a relief now to think that after just missing one train, I have to wait a minute less for the next one to come.”
M A Raghu, a BSNL employee heading to Cubbon Park Metro station, says the real relief is not for commuters at the Mysore Road station as it is the starting point and most riders would get seats. “From Vijayanagar station, the crowd picks up and up to Majestic the numbers only increase. The increase in trains will decongest the trains a bit.”
For Sreesha, a Telecom consultant, the hope of getting a seat when travelling by a Metro train to work is the big plus.
Need more coaches
While the move was welcomed by most Express spoke to, a few felt that an increase in the number of coaches would have helped more. Subbu Raj, software architect at Cloud Simple Pvt Ltd, who was travelling from Mysore Road to MG Road says, “I really think trains running at least during peak hours should have more number of coaches. I find even senior citizens standing inside trains most of the time and I always have to travel standing.”
“The wait for an additional 5 or 10 minutes does not matter to me but having a comfortable journey matters,” Raj added. A similar view is echoed by Veena R, heading to Halasuru station from Mysore Road. “This is a welcome move but the train gets packed right from Vijayanagar. Increasing the number of coaches is definitely required.”
The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited had issued a global tender in October calling for an additional 150 coaches. But the contract would be issued only by December this year and it would take at least 12 months for the delivery to take place.