The Delhi Metro has come up with “line utilisation”, a new metric to assess the flow of traffic across its various corridors, according to which over 2.8 lakh passengers used the Magenta Line on the day its Janakpuri West-Kalkaji Mandir stretch was opened. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has, heretofore, been using “daily average ridership” as the metric for it, which is calculated based on the entry and exit made by a passenger at the automatic fare collection (AFC) gates. “Utilisation of Magenta Line (Janakpuri West-Botanical Garden or Line 8) after its extension from Kalkaji Mandir to Janakpuri West was done by 2,87,413 passengers on May 29,” the DMRC said in a statement issued today. The section was inaugurated on May 28 and was opened for passengers yesterday.
The transporter shared the “line utilisation” data, a day after the 24.82-km Janakpuri West-Kalkaji Mandir section of the Magenta Line was opened for service. However, the DMRC did not share the daily average ridership figures post the opening of the section, the longest stretch to have been opened so far in the Delhi Metro’s Phase-III project for traffic. A senior DMRC official when contacted, said, “Our network has expanded a lot, and commuters are using multiple corridors for travelling from one place to another in Delhi-NCR.” “So, the new metric gives us a better assessment of traffic flow and actual utilisation of the corridors,” the official said.
After the completion of the Magenta Line (length 37.46 km) the total number of interchange stations on the network has now risen to 19, including Sikanderpur, with Rapid Metro. Also, the total operational span of the DMRC network has reached to 277 km with 202 metro stations. “Before the opening of this new section, the utilisation of the Botanical Garden-Kalkaji Mandir segment of the Line 8 was 81,880 on May 28. Overall line utilisation of the metro system on May 29 was by 45,35,932 passengers,” the DMRC statement said. “Line utilisation” indicates how many passengers travelled on a metro line or a portion of that line during their overall journey on the Delhi Metro system, it said.
“In layman’s term, if a passenger travels from Noida City Centre (Blue Line) to Botanical Garden (Blue-Magneta interchange station), and then moves on to Hauz Khas (Magenta-Yellow interchange facility) to reach Huda City Centre (Yellow Line), then he or she has actually used three lines (corridors), so the count would be three. “But, as per the ridership metric, the count would be only one, as it will consider his end-to-end travel and not take into account the entire Magenta Line used mid-way. So, line utilisation gives us a better picture,” the senior official said. So, over 45 lakh passengers would, otherwise be a staggering figure, but the new metric takes into account, number of lines used by a passenger, hence the big count.
Incidentally, DMRC ridership had taken a hit after two fare hikes in 2017. So much so that, last October’s tariff hike appeared to have had dragged Delhi Metro’s average ridership to pre-2015 levels. In 2014-15, the average daily ridership were around 24 lakh and it rose in 2015-16 and 2016-17. In 2017-18, after a drop in average ridership in October, Delhi Metro had posted a steady rise in the figure, with nearly 27 lakh commuters taking the rapid transit network daily in February this year. The DMRC official also said that passengers are taking longer trips now on the network. DMRC’s recent expansion includes the 21.56-km-long Majlis Park-Durgabai Deshmukh South Campus section of the Pink Line that opened in March and the 12.94 km-long Kalkaji Mandir Botanical Garden