It has been so fascinating to travel in Delhi metro when it was inaugurated. I never missed a chance whenever I was in Delhi. I used every opportunity to understand the mobility features of the commuters; type and age of them, class and community of them etc. I was fortunate enough to be the part of a kind and obedient commuting population whenever the Metro broke the previous records of volume transportation both in 2011 or in 2013. I experienced the changing style of commuting population, increasing demand from the commuters side etc. In the last two weeks, I was in Delhi and on Metro again.
It was on July 1st I arrived in Delhi. I arrived in T1 terminal of Airport. Coming out of the terminal, I was told that there is a Metro pick up so i decided to experience the journey again. Then I realised that DMRC has taken over Airport Express Line from that day onwards. I paid Rs 120 for the ticket till Sivaji Stadium. I was asked to wait as there is a feeder system to pick the commuters to the nearby Aero City Metro Station. A few of us waited for another 10 minutes then the bus came. It was a small us not suited to the airport pick ups. I was lucky for I did not have too many luggage but many others in the que struggled. The bus attenders were no so friendly. We are told that there is an additional Rs 20 to pay for their service. Some of the passengers shouted at this. I wonder why cant they include this ticket fare in the metro charges when everybody talks about the single card system for commuting on various modes of transport. Anyways, they waited for another 10 more minutes to start from T1. Remember, there is a Metro service in every 15 minutes.
When they dropped us at Aero city Station, I found out that they have parked at a distance and there is no smooth sailing for luggage trolleys. Many struggled to keep the bags on their shoulders. Entering the train, I found out only a handful of people opted for Airport Express even at the peak morning hours. I am sure the feeders and smoothness of interchange stop many from entering Airport Express. Even in T3 (last week experience), the connectivity between Metro terminal and T3 is at a quite a walkable distance. Same is the case with dingy conditions prevailing on the emergence from New Delhi Airport Express Metro Station. One may end up paying Rs 150 for an Auto for 3 Kms where as Metro as such demands only Rs 150 from T3 to New Delhi station.
I am sure these are learnings for other Metro projects ongoing in other parts of the country.