Metro Railway to resume services from July 16 with 50 per cent capacity
Metro Railway will run 192 trains daily from Monday to Friday, the carrier said on Wednesday after the state government greenlighted its resumption from July 16.
“Metro Railway service shall operate five days a week with 50 per cent seating capacity and shall remain suspended on Saturdays and Sundays,” said the notification issued from Nabanna on Wednesday. Local trains will remain suspended, “except for staff special trains for movement of emergency and essential services personnel,” it added.
Metro officials said they were treating “seating capacity” as “passenger capacity”.
The suspension of local trains, limited attendance in offices and shutdown of schools and colleges would ensure that the 50 per cent cap is followed on Metro trains, said officials.
“We will run 192 trains every day from Monday to Friday. The first and last trains will leave the terminal stations (Dakshineswar and Kavi Subhash) at 8am and 8pm respectively. Commuters will have to use smart cards. Tokens will remain suspended,” said a Metro official.
Between May 5 and 15, when the carrier operated with a 50 per cent cap before the fleet was grounded on May 16, the number of trains every day was 192 and the number of passengers varied between 1,00,000 and 1,50,000.
After a long shutdown last year, Metro services resumed from September 14, 2020. An e-pass system was introduced for access control at the gates when Metro services resumed. The number of trains and passenger count went up slowly. The e-pass system was discontinued from January 18 this year.
Now, Metro passengers will only need a smart card to avail the services.
The number of trains was increased to 258 in April this year, the most since the September 2020 resumption. Still at its peak, the number of passengers did not go past the three-lakh mark.
“The ridership reduced drastically as the second wave made its impact felt. Even now, once the services resume, we don’t see the passenger count surging. We will increase the trains according to the requirement,” said a senior Metro official.
The frequency of the trains will be adjusted according to the rush of passengers during the peak hours, he said.
“On Saturdays, there will be 104 staff special trains. There will be no service on Sundays,” the carrier said in a statement.
“Forty-eight trains will be run on the East-West corridor from 8am to 8pm from Monday to Friday, starting July 16,” it added.