BENGALURU: The running of Namma Metro trains earlier on Sundays, a long-standing demand from commuters, is likely to be addressed soon, with the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) agreeing to change train timings. With Metro services likely to begin by 7 am and eventually, by 6 am, users say this will be a great move that will help many who travel into the city on Sundays.
City Express had previously highlighted the plight of thousands of visitors who enter the city at the various Metro stations, including the ultra-busy Kempegowda Metro Station early on Sunday mornings, only to have to wait till services start at 8 am. The move by the BMRCL, in June 2017, was to provide a window to carry out maintenance work for smooth functioning through the week.
“It is great news and I hope they soon start operations at 6 am. This would be ideal for many who make it to the city around 5.30 am and a half an hour wait is not too much,” said Rakesh Jain, who frequently travels between Bengaluru and Hyderabad by bus and reaches the city around 5.15 am.
For others, who travel by trains and arrive at the City Railway Station early in the morning, the availability of a Metro would also mean not having to shell out exorbitant amounts for taxis or auto-rickshaws. “We always end up paying a lot more for travel in the mornings and there is the added hassle of convincing autos to drop us home. If the Metro is available by 6am or even 7 am, it would make sense to wait for it,” said Rohini Rao, a resident of CV Raman Nagar.
Ajay Seth, the BMRCL Managing Director, had earlier said that the company was also in the process of studying the railway timetable to synchronise their services with the arrival of major trains. When asked how the earlier timetable would be managed, Seth had said, “A tweaking and improvement of the maintenance schedule of trains is underway. We are trying to build our internal processes and capacities to respond to people’s demand.”
Now, regular commuters are hoping that the BMRCL would next implement its other promise of operating the last train from Kempegowda Metro Station at midnight instead of 11.30pm. “At this time, a 30-minute additional window can make a huge difference. Namma Metro is currently the safest mode of travel, and it would be great if this option were made available till late in the night. We might be far away from 24x7 travel options, but services till midnight are a welcome move in a city like Bengaluru,” said Abhay Koushik, who travels between JP Nagar and Yeshwantpur daily.