Bengaluru: BMRCL seeks nod for full seating on metro | Bengaluru News – Times of India


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BENGALURU: Namma Metro officials have sought the central government’s permission to remove seating limits on trains, a move that will free up room for the growing number of passengers. Currently, only alternate seating is allowed on all Metro trains to minimise the risk of coronavirus infection.
With ridership gradually increasing, many commuters don’t get space to sit and are forced to stand, which is causing crowding. “We have sought approval from the Union ministry of housing and urban affairs to slightly change the standard operating procedure and open up all seats,” said Ajay Seth, managing director, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL).
Metro is recording daily ridership of 1.4 lakh on weekdays, he added. The figure was around 5 lakh before March 22, 2020, when BMRCL suspended services following the lockdown. Operations resumed on September 7, 2020.
Under the current Covid SOP, seats are marked to maintain a gap of one metre. BMRCL will make all seats available to commuters if it gets the green signal from the ministry. But officials said that no other restrictions would be eased and passengers must continue to wear masks and undergo thermal scanning. A Metro official said that crowds at stations and on trains had increased in the past few weeks. “There are multiple reasons: decreasing Covid-19 cases, reopening of schools and colleges, and resumption of commercial activities. But the ridership is unlikely to reach pre-Covid levels immediately as many people are still working from home,” the official said.
Sandeep Kumar, a commuter, said that KSRTC and BMTC buses had eased seating rules. “Metro should also do it. People who stand find it hard to follow distancing. BMRCL should also increase the train frequency,” he added.

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Sagar Biswas

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