When the first phase of East-West Metro starts its commercial journey next month, it will run at 20 minutes’ intervals. Services will begin at 7am and the last trains from both ends will start at 9.40pm.
“For a commuter, the 20-minute frequency will actually translate to around 10 minutes, counting the time taken for walking into the Metro station, buying the ticket, passing through the ticket collection gates and walking to the platform area,” an engineer involved in the project explained. As per initial calculations, 45 trains will ply in 15 hours — between 7am to 10 pm. Up and down, 90 trains will ply a day. The north-south line has 284 trains plying a day on weekdays.
The schedule will be subjected to modifications once the commuting pattern is surveyed for a month after the start of the services. The frequency of trains may be increased on weekdays (Monday to Friday) during peak hours. But all that can be done after thoroughly studying the riding pattten.
The 5km elevated stretch between Sector V and Salt Lake Stadium covers six stations — Sector V, Karunamoyee, Central Park, City Centre, Bengal Chemical and Salt Lake Stadium. The dwell time for a train is 20 seconds for every station. At the optimum speed of 80kmph, an East-West Metro train would take 9 minutes, including the dwell time, to complete a one-way trip. But it’s unlikely that this “theoretical” speed and timing will be maintained in the initial days.
Unlike the north-south line, East-West Metro will run like clockwork. The train timings will figure on the display boards based on inputs from the control room that will keep track of trains. Every station has been equipped with multiple digital display boards to provide precise train timings. The boards will show a countdown to the real-time arrival of a train. The countdown will start at 120 seconds at most stations and reach zero by the time the train stops.
During initial runs, at least 40,000 passengers are expected to travel on a day along the 5km stretch. Officials said all these statistics will be known from a detailed operational and maintenance study once the trains start rolling out. “People in Salt Lake are used to travelling small stretches in cars. So it’s difficult to guess the ridership,” said a Metro official.
In February this year, the fare structure for East-West Metro was fixed by Railway Board. A commuter will have to pay Rs 5 for travelling up to 2km. For the next 3km-5km, the fare will be Rs 10. An East-West commuter can’t make much use of the base fare as the distance between two East-West stations is 2km or more. So, to travel to a destination two stations away, s/he will have to pay Rs 10.
Source: Times of India