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Friday, Nov 15, 2019

Red, Yellow and Blue still the lifelines of Delhi’s Metro grid

Three oldest lines still take the load of 70% ridership even though the network has grown to 370km.

delhi Updated: Jul 29, 2019 07:57 IST
Soumya Pillai
Soumya Pillai
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
As per data, the average utilisation of the entire Delhi Metro network was between 4.6 million to 5 million in May and June.
As per data, the average utilisation of the entire Delhi Metro network was between 4.6 million to 5 million in May and June.(Amal KS/HT file)

Three of Delhi Metro’s oldest lines — Red, Blue and Yellow — remain the most used corridors of the network, taking the load of over 70% of ridership even though its network has expanded to cover more than 370km in the National Capital Region, according to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s line utilisation figures made available for the first time.

The line utilisation data of the Delhi Metro accessed by HT shows that the 38-km-long Yellow Line, connecting Samaypur Badli with Huda City Centre, is the most used line in the network with an average daily utilisation at 1.45 million — nearly four times the ridership on Magenta Line (between Janakpuri West and Botanical Garden) that gets under 350,000 daily passengers.

As per data, the average utilisation of the entire network was between 4.6 million to 5 million in May and June. The Yellow and Blue Lines constitute a disproportionately high majority of ridership in its entire network, data shows. These two lines, which are only 28% of the Metro’s network by distance, carried more than 60% of Metro ridership.

In May, the line utilisation of this corridor reached 1.42 million, while in June it line was the highest till date, at 1.45 million. The Yellow Line is an important connection between areas such as Samaypur Badli, Jahangirpuri, and Azadpur with commercial hubs in central Delhi and Gurugram and also the Delhi University’s north campus.

The ridership on the 56km Blue Line, which connects Dwarka Sector-21 with Vaishali and Noida Electronic City, was the second highest. In May, the average utilisation of the line was 1.42 million and in June the number was 1.43 million. The corridor has nearly 60 stations (including Vaishali and Noida Electronic City sections), including interchange facilities at Janakpuri West, Rajouri Garden, Rajiv Chowk, Mandi House and Botanical Garden. Even if the lengths of the corridors are factored in, ridership on the Yellow and Blue Lines remained significantly higher. For instance, the Yellow Line (48km) is only 29% longer than Magenta Line (37km), but it gets over 350% more riders. Similarly, the Red (34km) and Green Lines (26km) are shorter than the Magenta Line, but both get around 50% more passengers.

While Yellow Line remained the most utilised Metro Line, on the Magenta Line (Botanical Garden to Janakpuri), which runs through south Delhi — Vasant Vihar, Greater Kailash, Chirag Dilli, Hauz Khas and Kalkaji — the average daily utilisation in May and June this year was less than 350,000.

Senior DMRC officials said that the argument about Metro ridership going down in low income areas after the two fare hikes in 2017, appears debunked by the figures that “specifically showed” that the usage of lines that cross through areas such as Seelampur, Shahdara, Samaypur Badli, Jahagirpuri, Mundka and Nangloi was higher than the corridors that cater to upper-middle class neighbourhoods.

“If you compare the fare with the convenience of the Metro network, the cost is much lower. The Metro has become a safe, quick and cost effective mode of transport for the commuters in Delhi,” said a senior DMRC official.

To be sure, officials also stressed that the population density, geographic make and the reach of other transport facilities in these areas also affected the utilisation of Metro services. The official said that the population density of Shahdara is much higher than parts of south or New Delhi.