Metro rail services in Bengaluru would resume, in phases, from September 7, adhering to the guidelines to contain coronavirus, a top official said on Wednesday.
“The metro service will resume in phases on the east-west and north-south corridors, as per the guidelines of the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs,” said Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd Managing Director Ajay Seth.
In the first phase from September 7, the 6-coach trains will operate from 8-11 a.m. and 4.30-7.30 p.m. on the east-west route (purple line).
“In the second phase from September 9, the service will also resume on the north-south route (green line) for 3 hours at the same timings,” Seth said.
In the third phase from September 11, the service on both the lines will operate for 14 hours – from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
“Only 20 percent of each coach capacity will be used to maintain physical distancing between commuters, who have to wear masks all through,” said Seth.
Commuters can use only smart cards with online re-charge to avoid physical contact.
“Though the 6-coach train has the capacity to carry 1,800 commuters, only 400 will be allowed in each ride till further orders,” noted Seth.
Similarly, about 50 commuters will be allowed on the platform for the next train at a time to avoid crowding and maintain social distancing.
“The commuters will be advised to download ‘Arogya Setu’ app on their smart-phone although it will not be mandatory,” Seth said.
Senior citizens and children below 10 years are advised to avoid travel by the metro for their safe health and till further notice.
“The trains will run at a frequency of 5 minutes during peak hours and 10 minutes during non-peak hours from September 11,” added Seth.
Every commuter will have a thermal screening at the entrance, with a face mask or shield mandatory. Sanitizers will be kept at the entrance of the stations.
Spaces have been earmarked on platforms and inside coaches to maintain social distancing.
Like other state-run transport firms, ‘Namma’ Metro too suspended its service since March 25 when the lockdown was imposed, forcing thousands of commuters to switch over to an alternative transport mode.
As the most popular transport mode for its punctual, efficient, and cleaner service in air-conditioned coaches, the metro has been ferrying over 4 lakh commuters on the twin routes, covering 42.3 km across 40 stations.
The operator has incurred Rs 300 crore loss over the last 5 months due to the suspension of service.