Even though the Delhi Metro's Airport Express Line was conceptualised keeping in mind the airport-bound commuters, it is gradually becoming a popular mode of transport among the general commuters.
The high-speed line, which was initially expected to draw around 25,000 commuters per day, has so far registered an average daily ridership of just 9,000, one third of which is Dwarka residents and mostly non-fliers.
Around 3,000 people from Dwarka commute daily by the airport express line. The figure was revealed by a recent survey conducted by the Reliance Infrastructure, the concessionaire company.
The survey report indicated that in the past two months dependency of non-fliers travelling by the Express line has increased rapidly, while there was no significant increase in the airport- bound ridership.
The 22.7-km express line registered an average footfall of 6,000 during the initial days after its inauguration on February 23. It could add only 3,000 to the daily ridership, which, according to the survey, has mostly been contributed by the residents of Dwarka.
This finding prompted the concessionaire company to promote the high-speed metro more among non-fliers in a bid to increase the footfall. To attract general people, it recently started offering 50% festive discount.
"Based on our internal survey and commuters' queries to our customer-care department, we launched an awareness campaign to inform commuters that this fast, safe and convenient Airport Express Line can be used by everyone and not just airport-bound commuters. The idea is to provide a high-speed link to Delhiites. Regular office-goers, city hoppers and outstation-bound commuters who want to travel by the train can also enjoy a comfortable ride," said a spokesperson of the company.
According to him, daily ridership from the sub-city in southwest Delhi rose from barely a few hundred to nearly 3,000 in the past two months.
"For Dwarka residents, Airport Express Metro is boon as they find it faster, safer, secured and comfortable mode of transport to reach to the heart of the capital," said the spokesperson.
Reliance Infrastructure has conducted door-to-door campaign in more than 80 societies along with local RWAs in Dwarka in the past three weeks to apprise residents of Dwarka about the Express Line service and its benefits.
The survey also revealed that majority of Dwarka residents travel on monthly pass to get cost-effective rides. "Many commuters avail monthly passes of R1,200 to travel between Dwarka and Shivaji Stadium and R1,500 to travel between Dwarka and New Delhi Station," said an official.