After initially witnessing a marginal increase in its ridership because of the Delhi government’s odd-even scheme, the Delhi Metro ridership on all eight metro stations in the twin cities – six stations in Noida and two in Ghaziabad – fell over the days.
“On December 30, 2015, metro ridership on Noida’s six and Ghaziabad’s two metro stations was registered at 2,00,736. On January 6, 2016 when odd-even scheme was put into place, the metro ridership was increased to 2,05,897 on the Noida and Ghaziabad route,” said a spokesperson of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).
The DMRC, however, said that metro ridership witnessed a decline after January 6, 2016.
“Noida may have witnessed a decline in metro ridership as compared to Delhi, Gurgaon and Faridabad also because there was a change in office timings and rotational weekly offs of BPOs, MNCs, industries, big markets and even local market timings,” said Naresh Kuchhal, head of the Noida traders’ association.
According to the DMRC records, metro ridership was recorded at 1,81,412 on January 7. It was recorded at 1,91,625 on January 8, and on January 9 the ridership was 1,82,005. January 10 saw 1,59,543 passengers use the metro.
“I believe that if Noida offices and markets would have remained open on normal timings like it did in Delhi, the metro ridership from Noida would have witnessed a sharp increase. Besides change in the timings of offices and factories, observing weekly off by traders in popular markets such as Sector 18 did impact visitors. This must have resulted in a fall in metro ridership,” said Kuchhal.
Traders and industrialists said that the district administration’s plan of change in timings of offices of industries, MNCs, BPOs and other offices resulted in a lot of chaos for those working in Noida.
“The new decongestion plan had directed us to open offices at unusual timings unlike earlier when we used to start the day at 10 am. Also, many units used to work 24X7 but after the new order they had to work only within the restricted timings. As a result, the staff and workers, who travel from Noida and other parts of Delhi were affected. We had to declare it as an off day on a number of occasions. There was a bit of confusion with regard to timings. It might have affected the metro ridership,” said Sudhir Srivastava, spokesperson for the Noida entrepreneurs’ association.