Just when passengers begin their commute at about 5.30am, a team of analysts gets down to work to ensure a smooth ride for them when they head back home in the evening.
By 10am, the control room at Metro Bhawan has all the details such as how many passengers travelled during the peak hours and on which routes. Based on these details, in the next two hours, the team prepares the train schedule for the evening to pick up the passengers from where they had gone in the morning.
“The pattern of traffic changes almost every day so we have to do live monitoring to clear the backlog and ensure every single passenger reaches his/her destination. We monitor the situation from the control room and based on that, the number of trains are pressed into service. During peak hour, the occupancy crosses 100%,” said Sharat Sharma, director (operations).
To start with, DMRC has done an analysis of month-wise traffic for the past five years and noticed that the ridership picks up after May and starts going down after September. “We have to plan for these five months and ridership goes to its peak during that time. To ensure maximum trains are available, we tweak the maintenance schedule,” Sharma added.
DMRC officials said in June when the admission process for Delhi University starts, the rush usually reaches a peak. But after September, it starts decreasing again due to winter vacation and the festive season. For instance in 2014, the ridership was 22.57 lakh in January, 21.86 lakh in May, 24.64 lakh in August, 25.93 lakh in September and 23.84 lakh in December.
After analysing the monthly traffic pattern, DMRC moved to the weekly traffic pattern and found the demand peaks on Monday and Tuesday and then falls.
“Demands on different lines are at a variance. Similarly in weekly analysis, it has been found that the ridership is more on Monday and Tuesday in comparison with other days. So we may have more trains on these two days and less on the remaining days,” said a DMRC official.