One coach in all Delhi Metro trains will be reserved for women from Oct 2 in order to decongest the bogies.
The reserved ladies’ coach will be the first after the driver’s cab in every train. Children up to 12 years, accompanied by women passengers, will also be allowed to travel in the reserved coach, said a Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) statement.
"In view of the increasing number of women passengers travelling on the Metro, the DMRC has decided to reserve the first coach in every train next to the driver for the use of women passengers with effect from Oct 2 on an experimental basis. The decision is expected to prevent overcrowding in other coaches," the statement said. Oct 2 is the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.
The decision was taken by DMRC managing director E. Sreedharan, keeping in view a number of requests received from various quarters and because about a quarter of the total passengers travelling on the Delhi Metro consists of women passengers.
According to a commuter survey done by DMRC, about one-fourth of the total commuter strength of the Metro is made up of women.
In the other coaches, the existing reservation of seats for women (four seats), seats for the old and physically challenged (four seats) and seats with stickers asking people to offer the seats to someone in need (six seats) will continue.
The DMRC will be placing stickers on the platform to mark the entry to the first coach reserved for women and it is planned to depute staff for informing passengers about this.
Announcements will be made on this issue over the public address systems of the Metro system.
The first coach of a Metro train can accommodate about 361 commuters (43 seating and 318 standing). Currently, the Delhi Metro runs a fleet of 129 trains on a network of 138 km that has 117 stations. The average daily ridership on weekdays is about 14 lakh.
By next month, the Delhi Metro will have a network of over 185 km and about 135 stations and will carry about 20 lakh commuters every day.