New Delhi metro rail ridership dwindles

Posted on June 2, 2003

Five months after the inauguration of New Delhi's new metro rail service, ridership has dropped considerably, with rail management now looking to persuade people to use the system, according to Agence France Presse. From nearly 200,000 people who rode the train daily after its opening, the numbers have dwindled to 40,000 to 50,000 people on an average day, said the AFP. Obstacles faced by the rail service include a limited service area for its initial five-mile stretch, and commuters being intimated by the modern system, which has automatic doors, air-conditioning and toilets for the handicapped. Most of the people living around the first stretch of the metro were poor and uneducated about the system's use, said the news service. According to Delhi Metro officials, the rail service expects to draw back huge crowds once the first phase of the project, running over 38 miles, is completed in 2005. Metro has forecast to carry 2.2 million people daily, reducing New Delhi's severe traffic pollution by half, said the AFP.

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