City Commute – Business Class for Delhi Metro?
The mass in the mass rapid transit system.
Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi]
While residents of east Delhi and neighbouring Ghaziabad happily boarded the Metro on the new line that opened in Anand Vihar on January 7th, 2010, a substantial number of commuters have started complaining of overcrowding in the rail service. “The Metro has become too cramped. It’s now like an air-conditioned Blueline bus,” says Ravi Kumar referring to the city’s bus network notorious for its inefficiency. He daily takes the subway to Chawri Bazaar in old Delhi.
As Delhi Metro’s managing director E. Sreedharan announced the opening of at least one line every month till September 2010, the number of users will only increase. Some are wondering if the Metro can introduce exclusive high-priced coaches where the overcrowding could be checked.
“I’m ready to pay more for my comfort,” says Madhu Sethi who commutes from Rajouri Garden to Barakhamba Road. “Everybody who has to go from Dwarka to Noida uses my line and it gets damn suffocating. Besides, some people are so unhygienic. They probably don’t take a shower.”
The most common problem due to overcrowding in the Metro is dizziness. “I feel pukish,” says Ruchi Jha, a radio jockey who commutes from Vishwavidyalaya to Akshardham. The problems multiply if the commuter is a woman. “Men cling on to you,” says Aarti Saxena, a shop assistant who daily travels from New Ashok Nagar to Rajiv Chowk. “My commute has become as much a suffer as it is a safar (Hindi for travel).”
Most people The Delhi Walla talked to do not mind paying extra for travelling in a less crowded compartment. “I want that kind of a coach,” says Adaa, who commutes from Mayur Vihar Phase I to Patel Nagar. “Only decent people would board it then, and hopefully they would be educated enough to realise that they are in an enclosed space and so won’t fart.”
There is no universal agreement. “I do not want first classes,” says Raj Bahadur who sells lemonade outside Barakhamba Road Metro stop. “I cannot pay a high amount.”
In Bombay, the local trains have pricier first class coaches. “They are different from the general coaches,” says Parul Singh, an office-goer in that city. “You have cushioned seats rather than wooden ones, and you don’t have to rub shoulders with fisherwomen.”
Would Delhi Metro introduce such a privilege? “Segregation doesn’t go with Metro services, which have uniform prices the world over,” says Metro spokesperson Anuj Dayal. “Metro is a mass rapid transit system for the masses.”
The first class coaches in Bombat locals don’t make the commute hassle-proof. “In peak hours, compartment in both the classes are equally overcrowded,” admits Ms Singh. “We don’t have to imitate Bombay,” says Dipankar Gupta, sociology professor in Jawaharlal Nehru University. “Every Delhiite who pays for the Metro ticket should get an equally good service.”
Long lines outside the ticket windows
Hurry-hurry people; Anand Vihar metro station
On the platform; waiting for the train
Are Madams comfortable?
This too shall pass
There is a ventillation problem. Forget about bath, people have gas problem :-/
Do the Indian administrators have to treat the common Indian always as substandard people not worthy of deserving minimum comfortable respectable travel where there is at least breathing and minimum standing space in a public commuting vehicle. Even when more than Rs.10,000 crores have been spent on the Delhi Metro, why the DMRC did not arrange more trains (must be not costing more than 5 crores each). Only the mentality of treating ordinary people as Cattle Class ingrained in the minds of bureaucrats and Indian Railway Technocrats seems to responsible for this.
Why doesn,t Mr Sreedharan whom at least I worship for being an honest and efficient man, do something in this regard. Why does he not at least accept the responsibility of not estimating the no. of people using the Metro in advance and at least promise that all maximum efforts would be done to ensure that ordinary people Travelling in Delhi Metro would able to at least stand comfortably in next 1 year?
Fare rates are going high in Metro and the comfort level is going down…Higher the price lower will be the comfort…. IT HAPPENS ONLY IN INDIA
Delhi Metro is the best example of Welfare Economics. Please dont search luxary in this mean of public transport. Let it be more popular. I beleive the Mr. Sridharan is leading it in a right direction.
Dehlites will adapt. They’ll find ways to come early or leave half an hour after main rush hour.
By the way – education has nothing to do with farts. People are animals on public transport system in Chicago from 4:30 to 5:30 PM. Yes, they fart too. Extensively. Mornings are even more worse because you might get late for work. I’ve been in situations where there is proper dhaka pehli and lots of tense dialogue between groups of people who all look like they work in nice white-collared high rises on at least upper management level (ages looked like they were in their early 40s).
whatever may be the problem ,Delhi Metros are less crowded then the Mumbai Locals..
If the picture denotes Dante’s hell then you haven’t seen the real hell yet 🙂 🙂 haha
gee. all that in name of equality! people in India are so used to VIP status and caste systems that they want one in metros too!! yes, many people dont bathe and probably dont even have a dignified place to crap.
But that is how majority of people live in India my friend.
thats what u see when u step out of ur air conditioned cars.
and those bitching abt Metro administration .. well they did plan for it, but something called ‘ECONOMIC CRISIS’ hit the world and japan cut a major loan, and metro is facing a credit crunch. but things should be alright soon.
Those who would like to travel in comfort and are ready to pay for it should commute by car.
The basic philosophy around which Mass Rapid Transport revolves would be defeated if people started having separate coaches for higher pay.
As for the Bombay trains, they are not the same as the Metro. They aren’t a Mass Rapid Transport system and cannot in any way be compared to the metro.
in fact, i have seen people behave most decently while inside the metro. sure, they jostle around while they enter and exit, but while the train moves from station to station, they stand/sit very amicably. i feel air conditioning has a major role to play in this. the trains are seriously overcrowded, but steps are being taken to counter the problem and we will soon see the difference.
the metro is still in its infancy. lets just give it some SPACE.
Delhi-ites need a reality check. The subway in New York and DC is equally, if not more crowded. If you travel to work at rush hour, expect a rush. I have been in trains in NYC and DC where there is barely enough room to breathe, let alone stand. In Tokyo subways, they hire professional pushers whose job is to cram every last individual into the trains. By Tokyo standards that photo you label Dante’s hell, might actually look like some more people can be crammed in 🙂 It is called PUBLIC transport for a reason people! I am glad though that Delhi-ites are willing to pay more for their ride. It might help metro increase the number of coaches per train so it can handle more capacity.
I really think the delhi metro needs to start putting in express and local routes, its the one way that has cut down on a lot of traffic in both new york and paris, and could really help out metro to!
On the other hand it is really sad to see our “educated” Indians, asking to separate classes. I can understand the need for maybe a women’s only compartment but separate classes for the rich and the poor? Do we really want to end up as soulless as Dubai!
i agree with a few coaches dedicated to women coz our bretheren are a long way off from basic decency. one can feel molested even when there's no bodily contact.divided over business class coaches. Sounds tempting but isnt too 'correct' i guess.
I like to give few suggestions1 . They can introduce Metro feeder buses at more stations and also frequency should be increased.2. I found many digital information display was not working well at most of the stations and even they are producing wrong information. This issue should be checked on daily basis.3. As many people carry food item with themselves so Dust bin should be provided at these station to avoid garbage problems at tracks.4 Public convenience should be the main issue here and drinking water also should provided near parking area
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