Veenu Singh (36), a resident of Janakpuri has been taking the Metro to her Barakhamba Road office in central Delhi for over three years.
A regular on DMRC’s line 3, the Dwarka-Yamuna Bank line, the media professional never expected what was in store.
Owing to the erratic Metro feeder bus service at Janakpuri West station, she took a rickshaw to her C-3 Block residence at 9:30 pm - after haggling with a feeder bus driver.
“The driver told me the bus was only half full and would wait till there were more passengers. It was getting late, so I decided to take a rickshaw,” she said.
A while later, around 500 metres from Janakpuri Police Station, three assailants intercepted her and made off with her gold chain and handbag.
Garima Pant (26), a resident of Vikaspuri is in the family way. A daily commuter on line 3, Pant has to rely on her husband to both get dropped and picked up from Janakpuri East Metro Station owing to the unreliability of the buses.
“I try not to take a rickshaw because the condition of the roads is deplorable and I don’t want to risk any complications.
So, I have to start at 8 am from home to reach office in time.”
While Delhi Metro’s network and ridership has seen a surge in the past few years, its feeder bus service has failed to keep up.
Irregularity of service, overcrowding and harassment while on the buses are some of the major problem commuters, especially women, face daily.
From little over 5 lakh passengers a day in 2007, Delhi Metro now caters to almost 9 lakh passengers every day on its three existing lines.
Of 68 Metro stations on its three corridors, Delhi Metro offers feeders at just 12.
“The bus drivers refuse to budge till their vehicle is jam-packed,” said Swati Awasthi, a bank employee and a resident of IP Extension in east Delhi.
According to senior officials, the DMRC runs about 120 buses on 18 different routes. About 50,000 people take feeder buses every day.
DMRC officials claim they try and maintain a frequency of 7-10 minutes during peak hours and 20 minutes during off peak hours.
“We are revamping global positioning system in our buses. It will inform passengers about frequency of buses and time of next bus available,” said an official.