The blue plastic Metro smartcards which the Delhiites are so familiar with are now finding their way into wallets and purses of thousands in Gurgaon. The Millennium City residents have finally discovered that the daily commute to work does not have to be an ordeal after all.
Twenty-seven-year-old Sudhir Kaul, who works for an IT firm in Cyber City, can’t believe he hasn't driven to work in months.
“The daily drive from my home in DLF City used to be terrible. There used to be jams, fights with other motorists and then daily bickering with parking lot attendants over space,”he says. “All that is gone now, thanks to this,” Kaul says, flashing his Metro smart card.
Like Kaul, thousands others in Cyber City, which hosts around 70,000 employees in 100 technology firms, have been taking the Metro travel to and from work.
Noting the overwhelming response the Metro in Gurgaon got since its launch in July, the Cyber City Welfare Society, the association representing all the companies in the technology park, has rolled out a pilot feeder service of five buses shuttling to and from Sikanderpur Metro station.
The Metro has also expanded choices of weekend outings for Gurgaon residents. The bylanes of Old Delhi with their gastronomical delights are just less than an hour ride away. So are the famous malls in Saket and the shops in Connaught Place.
"Now we are more part of Delhi than we were before, thanks to the Metro," says DLF City resident Chetna Vohra, whose family has been visiting the Walled City at least once a month to dine at Karim’s and the famous Paranthe Wali Gali.
“Before the Metro started, such plans seemed impossible.”
No wonder, the ridership is surging every week with the Metro striving to keep up by increasing the frequency of trains.
But the residents say at the end of the day, punctuality, availability of feeder bus service and parking space at Metro stations will hold the key to the Metro's success in Gurgaon.
“Unavailability of effective last-mile connectivity has still kept a sizable number of people away from using Metro service. Parking of cars is a major issue at stations and in the name of connectivity, we have shared auto-rickshaws and cycle rickshaws which are very costly,” said Subinder Khurana, president of Cyber City Welfare Society.
“But we are sure these glitches will soon be rectified with rising demand from passengers.”
On Board the millennium city metro
n The 12.53-km Central Secretariat-Qutub Minar section is fully underground while the 14.47 km Qutub Minar-Gurgaon section is fully elevated section of this line. 7.4-km line lies in Gurgaon side and rest in Delhi
Entire stretch was thrown open on September 3, 2010
Total cost of the project was Rs 2,368 crore
Five Metro stations constructed on Gurgaon extension line are Dronacharya, Sikanderpur, City Centre Mall, IFFCO Chowk and Huda City Centre.
Each train has four coaches of 300 passenger capacity each
Daily ridership is likely to touch 1.6 lakh by next year