Over 2,000 commuters use Noida Metro on first day of resuming service
Noida: Over 2,000 commuters rode the Aqua Line Metro on the first day, which resumed operations on Wednesday after staying shut for almost a month due to Covid-19 restrictions.
VPS Tomar, officer on special duty of the Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC), said that all Covid-protocols are being observed on the line. “The ridership on Wednesday was 2,359. We will observe ridership trends for a few days before we launch any other initiative to increase footfall,” he said.
The Aqua Line, which connects Noida and Greater Noida, was halted on May 1 due to the second wave of the coronavirus disease pandemic.
The NMRC runs fast trains during peak hours between Noida and Greater Noida. Of the 21 stations on the Aqua Line, trains during peak hours skip a total of 10 stations – Sector 50, 101, 81, 83, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, and 148 stations - which usually have lower ridership.
According to the corporation’s officials, the move is aimed at reducing travel time between the end points by nine minutes.
The NMRC’s decision to let fast trains skip stations has been met with criticism from several residents. Brajesh Kumar, a resident of Prateek Wisteria in Sector 77, said locals have been demanding that the nearby Sector 101 Metro Station functions as a normal station.
“There are people living close to the Sector 101 station who need to use the metro. But the fast trains skip this station during peak hours and stop here only during non-peak hours. If the metro does not get commuters at peak hours to this station, why does it stop during non-peak hours,” he said.
The NMRC’s OSD, meanwhile, said the corporation has not taken any decision to make changes in the fast train schedule.
The average daily ridership on the Aqua Line, before the national lockdown was introduced in March 2020, was 22,758. Since then, the number of commuters has decreased and the ridership numbers have been erratic.