Namma Metro: Closed entrances and long queues

Bangalore City Top Story

The Bangalore Metro has been operating many stations with only one or two open entrances or exits.

The Namma Metro has many stations which have one side of the station sealed off. Some of these stations are Kengeri, Krishna Rajendra Market, Srirampura, and Baiyappanahalli. This leaves the commuters with no other option than to stand in long queues to get tickets and to go through security checks. It is an inconvenience to most commuters, especially pregnant women, old people, and people rushing to reach their offices on time.

Passengers wait in long queues at Nagasandra to enter the station

Ritika Sharma, a commuter who uses the Baiyappanahalli to Mahatma Gandhi Road line on a daily basis, said, “It is definitely an inconvenience to the public. It may even stop people from using the metro, unless they have to. It’s not senior citizen friendly at all.” She said that at the Baiyappanahalli metro station, one has to walk at least 500 metres across the foot over bridge as one side of the station is closed off. “What about the people who can’t do that? The station is definitely inconvenient for people who are unable to walk that much.”

B L Yashwanth Chavan, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited’s (BMRCL) Chief Public Relations Officer said, “It is more for the sustainability and affordability of the passengers.” He said that since the pandemic there has been low footfall. In order to be sustainable and conserve resources, these entrances will remain closed. He added that opening these entrances again will increase maintenance costs of the stations and the revenue generated might not be enough to cover it. The daily ridership is five lakhs during the weekdays.

When the metro was reopened after the pandemic, most stations had only one way to enter for better crowd control. The daily ridership back then was also lower than what it is now. Vinay Kumar, the director of Eitimo Ventures LLP and a frequent metro commuter, said, “Due to COVID-19 most of the stations had only one working window. And, in order to control security and checks, they put in only one line of security. But, I think it’s high time now that things are back to normal, they should open up two windows and two lines for security so that they can speed up the process of people entering and exiting.”

The Nadaprabhu Kempegowda Metro Station, Majestic, is the point where the green and purple lines of the metro meet. Even though it is one of the most popular stations, it had one of its four entrances closed until last month. Gopinath, a metro staff member, said that they decided to open gate C too as the crowd has been increasing. He said that this made it easier for the staff to handle their work.

The Rashtriya Vidyalaya Road station has one entrance blocked from public use (Credit –M. Surabhi)

Ravi Gadepalli, an independent consultant who works on improving public transport, said that the problem here might be low ridership. The focus should be on attracting more ridership to the system. The current ridership is around five lakhs but the metro’s projected ridership was around 20 or 25 lakhs. The stations and the platforms are designed for that level of ridership which is why the length of the platform is much longer than the length of the train. “Stations can handle much larger train capacity, but even that is underutilised. The overall system is currently underutilised because the demand generated is not as much as expected,” he said.

Mr. Chavan said that the metro has a daily ridership of five lakhs during weekdays and three lakhs during the weekends. Out of all these commuters, only 0.1 percent of them complained about the entrances being closed. They conduct regular surveys to measure the footfall and when the footfall increases, the remaining entrances will be opened.


17 thoughts on “Namma Metro: Closed entrances and long queues

  1. This is a very good point to raise for daily commuters, Metro train is always a easy commute and time saving, but looking at the article it looks like people will avoid Metro.

  2. It’s true that the government needs income to operate full scale but they should also keep in mind that these kind of inconveniences only discourage the people to use public transportation. Maybe they could introduce discounts or schemes to encourage people to use public transportation more…

  3. This is a really good article on the hardships of Metro commuters….. Request Bengaluru Metro management to open all the entrances to make commute easy for daily users…..

  4. Metro authorities must provide better facilities/ services to all. Every commuter knows that it is causing inconvenience but no one dares to say anything. There should be balance of economy and service. Raising this sort of issues will pressure the authorities to provide better facilities at the larger interest of the Commuters.

  5. Good 360 degree analysis without any personal bias. The Metro authorities are putting the cart before the horse. If they open all the gates, there will probably be more footfalls leading to higher revenue.

  6. Irony is that if it were an alcohol shop, all the windows and entrances would have been opened even before the pandemic is over. High time the officials have woken up from their slumbers.

  7. Very good article on Metro it is time to respond the concern authorities to solve such type of problems.

  8. Good article, all times it creating confusing to the travelers. the department should take action.

  9. It’s an reality of metro stations ,as your article identified such a needful concern and authorities must respond on it …

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