After the initial euphoria, the daily count of Metro commuters has now dropped to 75,000- 80,000 passengers, reveal records. Soon after its launch on November 28, last year, this figure had shot past the 1.25 lakh-mark with December 3 witnessing a phenomenally high footfall of 2.20 lakh.
Terming the drop as temporary — part of the stabilising phase — Metro officials say the passenger count is expected to settle at around 1.20-1.25 lakh per day.
Within 10 days of beginning operations, Metro had ferried nearly 19 lakh passengers.
“This is a natural phenomenon with other cities too. Usually days after the launch, the number of joyriders decreases thus pulling down the daily passenger figures marginally. This was expected and we are not worried about the drop. We are still doing better than other Metros and are expecting the numbers to stabilise in the next two-three months,” said NVS Reddy, managing director, Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited (HMRL).
He added: “There could be other reasons for the momentary decline in footfall. Once passengers figure out the dynamics of their travel and what is suitable for their needs, the numbers will become steady.”
While officials are optimistic, commuters claim that their initial grievances are still far from addressed. Problems like steep parking fee, unavailability of adequate parking space and overcrowded coaches, they add, continue to discourage many from making Metro their preferred choice of commute.
Ruing about the limited number of coaches, one commuter (with the twitter handle Nagesh@balnags) posted: “Increase the car [rail] size from 3 to 6. It’s a frustrating journey from Secunderabad to Ameerpet.”
Another commuter Srinija Borra, who is a regular on the Ameerpet- Secunderabad route said, “There is no parking space at the Prakash Nagar Station. There are, in fact, many stations along the route where the passenger inflow is less due to parking issues.” Her concern was aired by others who said that they often give the Metro a miss, fearing parking hassles at stations. #KhabarLive