Over 10 Million People Ride Metro Rail Systems In India Daily
| IOP Desk - 06 Jan 2024

IOP News Desk

New Delhi, Jan 6, 2024: Daily ridership on all metro rail systems in India has surpassed 10 million, according to The Economist's year-end issue on December 23, 2023. However, the article misrepresents the situation by claiming that India's metro expansion is failing to attract enough passengers.

The article contains factual errors and lacks the necessary context to understand India's growing metro network.

The main claim of the article, that none of India's metro systems have achieved even half of their projected ridership, ignores the fact that over three-fourths of India's current metro network was built less than ten years ago.

Some metro systems are only a couple of years old.

Despite this, daily ridership across the country's metro systems has already exceeded 10 million and is expected to reach over 12.5 million in the next year or two. India is experiencing a significant increase in metro ridership, and this trend will continue as our metro systems develop.

It is also worth noting that almost all metro rail systems in the country are currently generating operational profits. In the case of the mature Delhi Metro system, daily ridership has already surpassed 7 million, well beyond the projected number for the end of 2023.

The Delhi Metro has helped alleviate congestion in the city's crowded areas, which cannot be solved by public bus systems alone. In some parts of the city, the Delhi Metro serves over 50,000 people during peak hours and peak traffic direction. To meet this demand with buses alone, 715 buses would be needed to travel in one direction within an hour, which is practically impossible. Without the Delhi Metro, one can only imagine the state of road traffic in Delhi.

In a diverse country like India, every mode of public transportation is important, both individually and as part of an integrated system.

The Indian government is committed to providing comfortable, reliable, and energy-efficient mobility solutions that offer a combination of multi-modal transport options in a sustainable manner.

The government recently launched the PM e-Bus Sewa scheme, which aims to deploy 10,000 e-buses in cities with populations between 500,000 and 4 million. Bus transport solutions for cities with populations over 4 million are already included in the government's FAME scheme. While both e-buses and metro systems are electrically powered, metro systems are more energy-efficient.

As cities continue to expand and first-mile and last-mile connectivity improves, ridership on India's metro systems will increase.

The article also suggests that many commuters who take short trips prefer other modes of transport, implying that expensive transport infrastructure does not serve all segments of society. However, this overlooks the fact that Indian cities are expanding.

The Delhi Metro, which is over 20 years old, has an average trip length of 18 kilometers.

India's metro systems, most of which are less than five or ten years old, have been designed to meet the traffic needs of urban areas for the next 100 years. Evidence already shows that this transition is happening, as metro rail systems are the preferred mode of commuting for women and the younger population in cities.

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