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Where is the last mile connectivity for metro train users in Chennai?


Posted on : 21/Jan/2021 9:43:40 AM

Ever since the services of the metro trains and suburban trains resumed in Chennai city after the relaxations, patronage has increased and more people have started travelling by these modes of transport. The truth is that last mile connectivity has not been resolved for the commuters in Chennai. Many who have been going to their places of work now are finding it difficult with the lack of last mile connectivity.

In September 2020, CMRL resumed its metro train operations and suburban train services that initially started as workmen specials later opened for more categories of people. From an average daily patronage of 14798 in September, the patronage has increased to around 54000 in January.

It is worthy to note that the footfall is still just 45% of the pre-Covid daily average of 1.16lakhs.

It was later mentioned by an officer that the reopening of schools and colleges in Chennai has not increased the patronage. He added that they form just a small number of the regular commuters.

Truth is that people who go to the offices and those who head to or from railway stations/airports form the majority of commuters. For contactless travel of the passengers and for their safety, CMRL introduced smartcard readers and QR code tickets. The CMRL had hoped that many would travel by metro trains. The patronage is yet to reach the pre-Covid levels despite these facilities.

Absence of uniform first and last mile connectivity have been cited as the reasons behind the low patronage in metro trains. It is known that CMRL had discontinued share cabs and shared autos due to low patronage. For setting up cab services across all the metro stations in Chennai, tenders have been floated also but there were no takers.

In the peak hours, the patronage has increased in the suburban trains in Chennai and this has been due to the fact that women and children (school and college students) were allowed to use the trains. It has been revealed that 2.35 lakh commuters use suburban train services per day and 15,000 use MRTS and this despite the fact that the number of services has touched pre-Covid levels.

The restrictions in allowing more people in the peak hours have been cited as the reason for the patronage not touching 11lakhs per day now. At present, railways operate as many as 660 suburban train services and 80 MRTS services in a day.

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