The passengers have to wait in long queues to exit the metro station during peak hours.
Bengaluru: The number of Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) machines in the metro stations with high footfall is same as those in the metro stations with low footfall. This causes inconvenience to passengers as this leads to them waiting in long queues during peak hours at metro stations with high footfall.
A daily metro commuter said that she had to wait in a long queue at the time of exiting the metro station.
The Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL), B L Yashwanth Chavan, said, “There are a minimum of two AFC machines at each gate in every metro station. The number of AFCs in each station is based on the loading (footfall) of a station.” These AFC machines are reversible and can be adjusted according to the number of passengers in peak hours, Chavan added.
Aekanthappa, Station Superintendent at Kengeri Bus Terminal metro station, said, “The bi-directional gates are used at the time of emergencies or if any incidents take place. These gates are mainly installed for the purpose of pregnant women and physically handicapped passengers. Every metro station has at least two bi-directional AFCs.”
However, as some exits in a few metro stations are closed, people are using the AFC machines at the exits that are open. This causes passengers to wait in a long queue at the machine to exit the metro station. The Yeshwanthpur metro station has only two AFC machines at its entrance and three at the exit. This metro station is also accessed by the passengers of Yeshwanthpur railway station.
“The long queues at the time of exiting can also be due to the lack of knowledge in passengers, on how to use the AFC machines. It depends on the usage as the machines are fast enough,” said the CPRO. Also, the official said that there are a few machines that are reversible in every metro station. These reversible machines are bi-directional machines, that can be used as both entry and exit machines.
Experts advocate for the number of machines to change according to the footfall. Sekhar Vajjala, who works with a transport company said, “The metro authorities should plan the number of AFC machines according to the footfall in each station. There should be more AFC machines to reduce the long queues during peak hours. The number of AFC machines in the evening should be more when compared to morning to manage the crowd in the metro stations.” “Currently, there are a required number of AFC machines in every station. Also, there is a provision for increasing the number of AFC machines according to the requirement in a particular station,” said Chavan.
However, the minimum footfall for installing more than the existing AFC machines at each entry and exit gate, in a metro station was not mentioned by the official.