A customer satisfaction survey by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to improve the services on the airport line revealed that only 28% passengers avail City Check-in facility at New Delhi and Shivaji Stadium Stations. Interestingly, 5% of them did it just to get rid of their luggage and later, they used other mode of transport to reach airport.
During the survey 11,565 passengers were asked a set of questions. Of this, 47% said they were in private service while 16.8 % were government employees, 18.81 % students and 12.8 % were businessmen. On an average 40,000 passenger uses the line.
“A customer satisfaction survey was organised among the commuters of the Airport Express Line to assess the level of satisfaction among the commuters in October 2016. In the survey, the opinion of the commuters was taken regarding 18 parameters which included aspects related to facilities available in the stations, inside trains and overall satisfaction. The topics included operational aspects such as — clarity of signage and direction, security check and baggage screening process, frequency of train service, safety and reliability, travel comfort etc,” said a spokesperson of DMRC.
Many commuters also felt that the ‘ambience at station’ needed further improvement. “This area does not belong to DMRC. This needs to be persuaded with the concerned civic bodies,” the spokesperson added. Sources said that passengers were not happy with the ambience outside New Delhi station.
The airport line was facing all kinds of problems till DMRC took over in June 2013. The line was remained shut for six months, about 9,000 passengers used to travel every day and speed was reduced to 50km/hr from 80km/hr. In October 2016, the line recorded 54,000 passengers in a day and on an average 40,000-45,000 passengers use it on a daily basis.
Many VIPs, including Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu, travel with this metro on a regular basis. To attract passengers, DMRC revised the fare twice and made several other changes to ensure more people use this line. The maximum fare has been reduced to Rs60 from Rs180, and minimum is now Rs10 against Rs30 in 2013.
“Various steps such as extension of timings to suit the passengers of Shatabdi Express trains, improvement of frequency from 15 minutes to 10 minutes 30 seconds, improvement of speed from 70 kmph to 80 kmph, seamless interchange between the Indian Railways station at New Delhi and Metro stations resulted in increase in ridership to 14,200 a day from 9,000 when we took over,” the official added.
Following this, Metro smart cards were made valid for travel on the airport line from May 1, 2015 and because of this, on May 11, 2015, ridership was 26,580. Second fare reduction was introduced from September 18, 2015, and on November 5, 35,405 passengers used the line.
On August 12, the ridership reached to 50,077. According to DMRC, the monthly average ridership on this section has increased from 17,535 in April 2015 to 43,000 in August 2016, registering a more than double increase. Passengers traveling with Air India and Jet Airways can also check-in from New Delhi and Shivaji stadium metro station.