Nearly 2.5 lakh commuters used the services of the Delhi Metro across various corridors till late evening on Monday, the first working day since the resumption of full services post 169-day hiatus due to COVID-19. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on Saturday had gone back to its schedule as it was before the services were suspended on March 22 to contain the spread of infection.
On regular days, the average daily ridership of DMRC is over 26 lakh. "The ridership on Monday till 7:30 PM stood at 2,49,884. The figures for the three of the main corridors are -- Line-1 or Red Line: 29,394; Line-2 or Yellow Line: 76,266; Line-3 or Blue Line: 67,114 ; and Line 4 or Blue Line branch: 7908," a DMRC official said.
On Airport Line, 4,237 riders used the services on the first working day since the resumption of full services. This corridor was reopened on Saturday. Ridership for other lines were Line-5 or Green Line: 10370; Line-6 or Violet Line: 21354; Line-7 or Pink Line: 15420; Line-8 or Magenta Line: 16349; and Line-9 or Grey Line: 1472, the official said.
The DMRC has been reaching out to commuters through social media to inform them that peak hour services are now available in non-peak hours too.
"Delhi Metro's peak hours are from 8AM - 12 noon and from 4PM - 8PM. To facilitate passengers, a headway of 2 min 45 sec to 6 min will be maintained from 8AM to 8PM. Please stagger your journeys so that adequate social distancing can be maintained in the Metro. #MetroBackOnTrack," it tweeted on Monday.
The Delhi Metro had resumed services on September 7 with curtailed operation of the Yellow Line and Rapid Metro, since the closure of the urban transporter on March 22.
The Ministry of Home Affairs had recently issued guidelines allowing the Delhi Metro to resume operations in a graded manner, following which the DMRC had said it would be done in three stages from September 7-12.
Under stage one, Yellow Line or Line 2 and Rapid Metro were made operational with restricted service hours. Stage two kicked in from Friday with extended service hours, and stage three came into effect from Saturday onwards with metro services going back to pre-COVID-19 time schedule of 6 am to 11 pm. Over 1.5 lakh people had used the services across the various corridors till 7.30 pm on Saturday, with 2,268 of those having used the Airport Line, a senior DMRC official had earlier said.
Also, seeking to further enhance social distancing norms in Delhi Metro trains, signages have been put up on the floor of coaches, besides the existing seat stickers, officials said on Monday. The DMRC has been taking to social media to raise awareness among the commuters about observing social distancing to curb the spread of COVID-19.
"Apart from stickers on alternate seats, DMRC is now further strengthening the social distancing signages inside its trains. 800 coaches are already equipped with the floor markers & within a week, floor markers will be placed in the remaining 1400 metro coaches. #MetroBackOnTrack," it tweeted on Monday. The seat stickers indicate commuters to sit on alternate seats.
Apart from stickers on alternate seats, DMRC is now further strengthening the social distancing signages inside its trains. 800 coaches are already equipped with the floor markers & within a week, floor markers will be placed in the remaining 1400 metro coaches. #MetroBackOnTrack pic.twitter.com/oheRo8bFRL— Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (@OfficialDMRC) September 14, 2020
One train coach has a capacity to accommodate about 50 passengers on seats and a total of nearly 300 riders in the entire compartment, including standing commuters. With social distancing norms, this number has been reduced drastically.
(With inputs from PTI)