After a lukewarm reception by users in the opening days, ridership is steadily increasing in Bengaluru Metro since services restarted close to six months after they were shut owing to COVID-19 restrictions. However, the average ridership is yet to surpass the 10% of what it was pre-pandemic.
It may be recalled the first metro, after services resumed, ran on September 7 on the purple line and on September 9 on the green line. Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited then restarted its trains in a phased manner, for the first time since closure in March.
While the ridership on September 9 was 14,438, the ridership on September 30 was 48,041, which is more than thrice that of September 9. In the coming days, the metro authority expects the ridership to surpass the 50,000 mark. Incidentally, till the end of September, 48,041 is the highest ridership for the metro since the reopening of metro post-March. Compared to this figure, the average daily ridership for the two existing lines (purple and green) combined was around 4.5 lakh per day.
The average ridership of the last 15 days ending September (Sept 16-30) was 36,343 which is a little over 8% of the average ridership of the pre-COVID-19 times.
Enforcing COVID-19 norms had meant that the metro trains can only run at 20% of their capacity at a time, BMRCL MD Ajay Seth had told earlier. Moreover, considering low passenger footfall, trains are currently running only between 7 am and 9 pm (as opposed to 5 am to 11pm pre-COVID-19) with a peak hour frequency at five minutes and non-peak hour frequency at 10 minutes.
In this period, there were two days (September 27 and 28) when the metro services had partially been curtailed between Nagasandra and RV Road Stations from 7 am to 9 pm.