Delhi Metro again appeals to commuters to stagger travel

New Delhi: Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Delhi Metro authorities on Thursday issued a fresh appeal to commuters to stagger their travel in a day and cited that in some sections of the the network, occupancy is very high during peak hours.

Delhi Metro resumed full operations from September 12 and since then, people have broadly cooperated with the DMRC and have followed all new travel protocols, resulting in “line utilisation in the range of 9-10 lakhs in recent days”, which is as per the current expectations and social distancing requirements, the DMRC said in a statement.

“However, in recent days, it has been observed that certain sections of the metro network as given below are showing a trend where occupancy is touching 100 per cent-mark during morning and evening peak hours,” it said.

These sections are — Dilshad Garden to Shastri Park on Red Line, Mundka to Kirti Nagar on Green Line, Kirti Nagar to Mandi House, New Bus Adda to Dilshad Garden on Red Line and Escorts Mujesar to Badarpur on Violet Line.

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During ‘off-peak hours’ (pre-COVID-19 period), the occupancy in the same sections, is in the range of 30-50 per cent only, leaving ample scope for people to stagger their travel from peak hours to the extent possible and have hassle free travel with social distancing in place, the statement said.

Delhi Metro resumed its full fledged operations with new norms of social distancing in place, owing to the pandemic, which has significantly reduced the number of persons to be carried in a train (occupancy), which should be around one-fifth of the earlier capacity to ensure social distancing, it said.

To provide better occupancy in the changed scenario, DMRC also introduced peak hour frequency of trains from 8 AM to 8 PM, doing away with the concept of off-peak hours from 11 AM to 4 PM where services were available with less trains or trips earlier.

In addition, public has been also advised to avoid unnecessary travel as far as possible and stagger travel timings for office, home, other works to the extent possible to “Break the Peak” of rush hours for their own convenience, as a more judicious utilisation of the capacity-cum-occupancy being offered by the DMRC to the public as per the new norms, it added.

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“Such a pattern during peak hours, if it continues and is repeated on the other sections too in the coming days may lead to long queues outside the stations due to regulated entry which is essential for ensuring social distancing inside station premises and closing of gates etc. thereby, further increasing the journey time and inconvenience during travel,” the statement said.

“Therefore, the general public is once again requested to ‘break the peak’ by staggering their travel timings to decongest the peak hours and avail the additional capacity available during off-peak hours for their own convenience and safety amidst the coronavirus pandemic,” it said.

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