CHENNAI: Chennai Metro Rail's patronage on Monday when services resumed after nearly six months was more than that of the Bengaluru Metro.
According to a Chennai Metro Rail spokesman, 5033 passengers travelled on the Metro compared to 3770 passengers on the Bengaluru Metro.
According to data from Chennai Metro Rail, 4,869 passengers travelled on the Metro using Smart Card ticketing system and 164 passengers utilised the QR code ticketing system. Passengers can avoid queueing at Metro stations by downloading the CMRL mobile app for using the QR code ticketing system.
Interestingly, only the Blue Line, from Chennai International Airport to Washermanpet, was put into operation on Monday. The Green Line from Chennai Central to St Thomas Mount is likely to function from Wednesday. However, the Green Line will not be connected to Chennai Airport as was done earlier. Passengers have to alight and take the train at Alandur station to the airport.
The functioning of the Green Line on Wednesday will be a huge relief to many bus commuters as they can access the CMBT bus terminus where operations began from Monday. Patronage of the Metro may be hit due to non-functioning of malls, colleges and other institutions. Many people are also still afraid to take the Metro following the spread of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Chennai Metro Rail has floated tenders for the second phase and work is likely to begin soon. Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) has invited bids for the construction of a 7.945 km elevated section from Porur Junction to Poonamallee Bypass of Chennai Metro’s new 26.09 km Line-4 which will connect Light House with Poonamallee Bypass through 30 stations.
In July, bids were called for construction of elevated Metro Stations at Power House, Vadapalani, Saligramam, Avichi School, Alwartiru Nagar, Valasaravakkam, Karambakkam, Alapakkam Junction, Porur Junction for Phase-2 project. This section of the Line-4 is being partly financed by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) through a $356.65 million (approximately Rs 2700 crore) loan.
Besides a viaduct, this section consists of 9 stations and a depot line to a train maintenance depot at Poonamallee. It is the second elevated package of Line-4 on the upcoming 118.9 km Chennai Metro Phase 2 project. Back in July, CMRL invited bids for a 7.955 km elevated section for Line-4, integrated with Line-5 for roughly 4.2 km, between Power House and Porur Junction on Arcot Road.