With more than 1.5 million passengers commuting via the Delhi Metro daily, it is safe to say that this is one of the busiest metros in the country. But that was before the pandemic hit us. Now after five months, as the metro gears up to welcome passengers once again, here are the changes you can expect when travelling by metro in the future. By Amitha Ameen
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The lifeline of the state capital, Delhi Metro, was completely shut down and has been out of service for the past five months. But things are set to turn around for the country’s largest urban mass rapid transit network. The Delhi government has recommended to the Centre to allow the resumption of metro services in a limited manner.
While we don’t know when exactly metro services are likely to resume operations, here are a few ways that your metro ride is set to change in the next couple of months. Social distancing platforms, contactless frisking and limited passenger entries are just some of the things that you can expect in your next metro ride.
As partial operations are likely to resume soon, the Delhi Metro has geared up its facilities and protocols to keep in tune with the current world scenario. Trains are expected to run only between IST 07:00 am and 08:00 pm making the duration shorter, hand sanitizers at checkpoints, and entry and exit points will be limited only to single gates.
Initially, only those passengers who come under ‘essential services’ will be allowed to enter the metro station, and all passengers will undergo a mandatory thermal scanning and must have the Aarogya Setu app to enter the stations.
The previous metro tokens will be replaced with smart cards that can be topped at automatic fare collection (AFC) gates, promoting e-transactions and reducing contact. Old smart card users can also upgrade their cards to avail this facility and the new smart card can be availed from the Autope app.
The trains, too, will be regularly disinfected and markers will be placed to ensure social distancing is maintained at all points of time. Another important change will be the travel time, as trains may allow extra time for boarding and deboarding to avoid congestion and also allow fresh air circulation through the coaches. Earlier the trains which carried around 1,800 passengers will now be allowed to carry only between 300 to 350 passengers to ensure one-meter distance is maintained between any two passengers.
Lastly, passengers will be required to wear masks throughout their journey and trains will skip stations that are under containment zones or report high Coronavirus cases. Only alternate seats will be available in the coaches and parking facilities will not be allowed.