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Metro - try get it right the first time!

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Metro RailPublic Transport

 As we know there is an 'Indian' way of doing everything!

We never seem to follow lanes or queues..even our RJ's for traffic updates use words like 'nuggisokke aagthillava'! (are you not able to squeeze throuhg?)

So what can we expect with the metro starting in few months(years?)? Fortunately Delhi has started the experiment first and there are some inputs flowing in on the pitfalls there..these are very few amongst the praises..but quite important..

  • Trains do not arrive on time. - There is no use of planning our daily commute metro if  it lacks reliability!
  • The electronic signs usually get the frequency wrong.
  • Within the trains, the announcements are going awry.
  • Male passengers smugly sit on seats meant for ladies.
  • At one of the major stations (Tiz Hazari) one found no X-ray machine at one of the entrances. And to think that security is as strong as its weakest link!
  • At the destination, the trains were disgorging crowds but the turnstiles could not cope. The police were helpless. Rather than enforcing the exit queues they looked on helplessly. 
  • With lakhs of footfalls train floors are getting dusty. Is it too much to expect the Metro to deploy housekeepers on moving trains to clean them up when traffic is thin?
  • Unlike the early set of stations, the quality of workmanship on the new stations is quite poor. It is difficult to find neat and straight edges. The railings are shabby. The windows are just functional.

More in the blog here..

Most of the points are easy to work on..its just that we need to start looking into them!

Even though the BYP-MG RD line is more like a technology demonstrator..we need to have have it running on schedule all the instill a sense of reliability among prospective users..else we will never be able to get public switch to the metro!


ashwin's picture

Delhi Metro problems

144 users have liked.

The primary problem the Delhi Metro is facing right now is that they ordered Rolling Stock (trains) not based on the original, overly optimistic passenger projections (which have not been met), but some internal, low ball estimate which turned out to be well short of actual traffic.

So you have a ludicrous situation where passenger numbers are lower than initial projections, but ground reality is of significant overcrowding. To compound their woes, the new trains from Bombardier have been facing teething issues.

The situation described in the blog, where there was a gap of 18 minutes before a train arrives, and the next one follows in 3 minutes, is symptomatic of this. Due to overcrowding, the lead train takes longer to leave a station as it takes longer for crowds to get in and get out with the typical Indian jostling and pushing. As it goes from station to station, it keeps getting further delayed, and this delay only increases the number of passengers trying to get on. In the mean time, the train behind, which doesn't have to pick up as many passengers, catches up. This was discussed in another thread in the context of buses - I forget the term used for the phenomenon.

DMetro claims that more trains are on their way but it will take several months before enough of them arrive to ease the situation. In the mean time, the average dilliwallah will have to grin and bear it.

Interesting contrast in crowd behaviour in Bangkok, Thailand which I had the pleasure of observing recently. About 7:30 in the evening, peak traffic, packed trains. The platform is chock full of people. But what do they do? Instead of lunging for the train all together like it was a matter of national pride at the Olympics (Andheri Station, Mumbai for example), they line-up meekly in two columns in front of the spots marked on the platform indicating position of the train doors. When the train comes, they allow people on board to get off, and then the queue moves forward in an orderly fashion. Only as many get on as can fit on the train, the rest of the queue waits for the next one.

You could have knocked me down with a feather. At that moment, I would have signed up for Buddhism, Monarchy and whatever else it is that makes these people that way.






srinidhi's picture

crouds not better in most places..

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check this in Japan..they are like any other Indian train/bus station!

New Orleans showed how even Americas can go unruly..during the levy break!

Your analysis on why the train got delayed seems to be good and all people need to be aware of is that the next train is just 3-5 min away and wait..hope they do in Blr!

Naveen's picture

Discipline on trains & at stations

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they line-up meekly in two columns in front of the spots marked on the platform indicating position of the train doors. When the train comes, they allow people on board to get off, and then the queue moves forward in an orderly fashion. Only as many get on as can fit on the train, the rest of the queue waits for the next one.

It's not just Bangkok - this is exactly how it is in China too, & there are wardens who oversee that discipline is strictly maintained. In some stations, the coach warden has a mic & announces when the coach is full & boarding must stop - & queue freezes immediately. It was amazing to see such discipline in practice.

Tokyo-Yokohama's professional "pushers" have been there from a long time since crowds are simply too heavy during peak hours, it being one of the largest megalopolises in the world - the effort is to 'pack' as many as possible into the train coaches. Despite this, passengers are not unruly & crowd behavior within the overcrowded trains is remarkable - one never feels that he is being pushed around.

Wonder how Namma Metro will be, when it commences here !

idontspam's picture

 Wonder how Namma Metro will

134 users have liked.

 Wonder how Namma Metro will be, when it commences here

I can tell it will be indisciplined, it will not be on time, frequencies will be crazy. I dont see why it will be very dissimilar from Delhi? The people are similar, so is the infrastructure. The trains will be run, but as usual there will be no training to the people on how to use it (stand aside let people get off then board). As usual our enforcement will be lax and nobody will be told how to behave. Bangalore will be like Tokyo, if not now, in the future, heavily populated. So it will be good to learn how crowds are handled, we may need pushers when the density starts building around the stations in 10 years. comment guidelines

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