Passengers want BMRCL to remove ‘do not sit’ stickers on metro seats
Namma Metro passengers have demanded that Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) do away with alternate seating arrangements on trains.
With ridership touching 2 lakh every day on both lines, commuters argue that it is futile to insist that some seats be kept vacant, especially during peak commuting hours.
They want the ‘do not sit’ stickers currently on every other seat removed as the State government has allowed full occupancy in metro trains.
Regular commuters said that conflicting announcements on the trains add to the confusion. “While travelling in the metro, often a recorded announcement gets played informing passengers that they can occupy all seats. But some commuters do not allow others to sit next to them because of the stickers. They show the sticker and say one has to sit on every alternate seat. Many passengers even keep their bags on the seats beside them to prevent others from occupying it. BMRCL needs to address this issue,” said Navya R., a regular metro commuter.
On June 21, when the second wave of the pandemic was on the wane, BMRCL resumed metro services in a staggered manner and increased the frequency of trains over time. Initially, to maintain social distancing, passengers were instructed to leave every alternate seat empty. At the time, people were not allowed to stand either.
However, after a couple of weeks, when cases continued to decline, social distancing norms were relaxed and passengers were allowed to occupy all the seats as well as stand if there was no seating space. But not all commuters are aware of this and the stickers have yet to be removed.
With more people using metro services to commute to work, this is becoming a sore point. When services resumed in June, only around 42,000 people used it. Since then, ridership has increased to nearly 2 lakh per day.
Prashanth Nair, another regular Namma Metro commuter, said he even reached out to BMRLC’s customer care centre asking for an explanation. “The customer care employee told me they had received many complaints from passengers about this. Some commuters are not allowing others to sit next to them even during peak hours. I was told a decision would be taken at the management level”
When contacted, Chief PRO of BMRCL B.L. Yeshwanth Chavan said, “Passenger complaints on non-removal of stickers will be brought to the notice of the department concerned, and necessary action will be taken in the coming days.”