Bengaluru: Flower show pushes BMRCL ridership to new high

Bengaluru: BMRCL move to introduce return tickets for visitors to the ongoing Independence Day flower show at Lal Bagh has evoked a good response and its ridership hit a new high on Monday.

A BMRCL report claimed that a total of 4,25,198 people used the metro on Monday.  On the Independence Day BMRCL had to operate a special train between RV Road and Sampige Stations to clear the crowd at the Majestic interchange station. 

The Lalbagh Metro station falls on the Green Line, which runs between Nagasandra and Yelachenahalli, covering a distance of 24.22 km. The other route Purple Line runs between Byappanahalli and Mysuru Road and covers 18.08 km. The patronage on the Green Line is comparatively less, but the ongoing Flower Show has boosted its ridership and on Independence Day it was even higher than that of Purple Line.

Of late Namma Metro has been getting good patronage and it is bettering its records in quick succession. On August 10, 2,30,993 passengers used Purple Line, while 1,92,105 used Green Line.

But the footfall recorded on August 13 was higher – the Purple Line recorded a ridership of 2,28,316, the Green Line was used by 1,96,882 passengers.

However the commuters lament the trains are too crowded and wanted BMRC to increase frequency and run more six-coach rakes.

“We feel that Namma Metro is the most congested mode of transport in the city. They claim the ridership has increased, but is it only because of the flower show? They should tell us the footfall of the metro before and after flower show,” said Abhilash R., a regular Green Line commuter.   

Currently on the Purple Line has just one six-coach rake, which it runs mainly during peak hours. The second six-coach train was promised for August, but it has not yet been delivered. 

"It's better to call it suffering of commuters than record ridership. Metro has missed many deadlines in recent days. Now they are saying that it has set record ridership, but they do not know how difficult it is for commuters to travel in the Namma metro, because of the delay in six-coach rakes. They should increase in the frequency and to add more coaches to existing trains at the earliest. Phase 2 has been approved, but there is not a proper deadline,” said Apoorva G, another metro user.

However Metro officials denied that the surge in ridership was only because of the flower show. A senior BMRCL official told Deccan Chronicle, "Metro has become a popular mode of transport in Bengaluru and the footfall is increasing every day. We know that people are expecting more from BMRCL and we are also working on it. More six-coach trains will function from  September."

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