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Bengaluru: Namma Metro to get additional trains by year end to ease peak hour woes

Namma Metro in Bengaluru plans to introduce 20 new trains by the end of 2024 to alleviate rush hour congestion. Despite a recent ridership increase, delayed train deliveries and last-mile connectivity issues hinder the system's efficiency. With only 57 operational trains and a need for at least 73, the augmentation aims to improve urban mobility.

Bengaluru: Namma Metro to get additional trains by year end to ease peak hour woes vkp
First Published Apr 6, 2024, 11:39 AM IST

To ease the burgeoning rush hour woes and bolster passenger comfort, Namma Metro, Bengaluru’s lifeline, is gearing up to introduce twenty new trains to its existing purple and green lines by the close of 2024. This phased augmentation comes as a beacon of hope for weary commuters grappling with overcrowded stations and congested trains during peak hours.

Over the past months, the metro has witnessed a steady surge in its ridership, with numbers soaring from 6.5 lakh to a peak of 7.5 lakh passengers. However, this influx has exacerbated the strain on stations and trains, particularly at interchange hubs like Majestic, MG Road, Indiranagar, Baiyappanahalli, and Whitefield.

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Despite the recent extension of the green line from Nagasandra to Challaghatta-Whitefield, the anticipated surge in ridership has yet to materialize, much to the dismay of the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL). Transport experts attribute this shortfall to the dearth of metro trains and the elusive last-mile connectivity.

The delay in the arrival of 216 coaches, part of the 2019 BMRCL-China CRRC contract, has further compounded the situation. Hindered by COVID-related disruptions, the 'Made in India' policy, and technical glitches, the timely deployment of these coaches has been impeded. However, glimmers of hope emerged with the impending arrival of 20 additional trains, a blend of Distance to Go (DTG) signalling system and Communication-Based Train Control (CBTC) technology.

Of these 20 trains, 14 will be supplied by Titaghar Rail Systems Company, the Indian counterpart of China's CRRC, while the remaining six are expected from China by April's end. These new additions are poised to infuse a fresh breath of efficiency into the metro network, albeit with the caveat of undergoing rigorous inspection due to their novel design.

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Despite the impending influx, the pressing need for additional trains persists. BMRCL underscores the urgency of bolstering its fleet to a minimum of 45 to 50 trains to meet the burgeoning demand. Presently, only 57 trains are operational, falling short of the requisite 73.81 for optimal service.

While short-loop trains have been temporarily employed to mitigate passenger congestion, they offer only a stopgap measure. Metro railway experts unanimously stress the imperative of expeditiously integrating more trains into the network to assuage commuter woes and foster seamless urban mobility.

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