Bangalore Metro yesterday started commercial operations on its new 4.8 km underground section from either end of the 18.1 km Purple line! Being a Saturday morning, ridership was slow to pickup, but really started to soar in the afternoon and evening as people began turning up for a joy ride on the smoothest cross-town transportation system in the city.
Operations were advertised and supposed to start at 6 am, but there was one report of the first train departing Baiyappanahalli at 5:48 am. Enthusiastic users across social media reported their journey to clock between 36 and 40 minutes which is a little more than the promised 33 minutes, but not likely to fetch any complaints given the city’s manic traffic. At the end of the day, ridership clocked 93,526 passengers and fetched the BMRCL a little over Rs 35 lakhs.
The 5 new stations added to the network include: City Railway station, Kempegowda Majestic station, Sir. M Visveshwaraya Central College station, Dr. BR Ambedkar Vidhana Soudha and Cubbon Park.
To start off, here’s a brilliant video shot between Magadi Road and MG Road stations that you must watch:
— The Metro Rail Guy (@TheMetroRailGuy) April 30, 2016
— RK Misra (@rk_misra) April 30, 2016
— vadakkus (@vadakkus) April 30, 2016
I believe the ridership was a little disappointing for Day 1, even though it consisted primarily of joy riders. But hey, it’s only Day 1. Today (Sunday) should hopefully see more users show up as people get wind of the metro, its level of comfort and reach within the city. Monday would be an altogether different day as locals in the metro’s catchment area would integrate it into their commute and more people will experiment and do a cost/benefit analysis over their existing commute. A more realistic picture of the ridership will only emerge and stabilize after a couple of weeks when the initial euphoria dies down.
Have you taken a ride yet? Leave a comment below!
For more updates & images, check out the Bangalore section of The Metro Rail Guy!