Plans are afoot to connect a terminus station of the Aqua Line of the Noida-Greater Noida Metro with an upcoming station of the Delhi Metro’s Blue Line through a dedicated pathway and a carriage-way for e-rickshaws, officials have said.
There is a distance of around 300 metres between Sector 51 metro station, the terminus of the Aqua Line in Noida, and the upcoming Sector 52 metro station of the Blue Line, which is being extended from Noida City Centre to Noida Electronic City, according to officials.
While the inauguration of the Noida-Greater Noida metro service last month was seen as a major public transport boost connecting the twin cities, several people were critical of the Aqua Line not being connected with the Blue Line, saying it did not help the thousands of commuters to and from Delhi.
They also expressed disappointment over lack of seamless connectivity between the two stations (Sector 51 and Sector 52) saying commuters will have to exit one station and cover some distance, go through frisking again and use a different smart card or ticket/token to continue their journey after interchange.
Ankur Saxena, a Noida resident and marketing professional, said seamless interchange between the two metro lines will be a major issue for commuters.
“Imagine the time wasted in exiting and entering the stations, covering whatever the distance is on foot, going through frisking once again…Also, carrying a different smart card or ticket/token for the onward journey is discouraging,” he said.
A senior official of the Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC), which operates the Aqua Line, said the Sector 52 metro station of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is expected to begin in the second half of March.
Built at a cost of Rs. 5,503 crore, the Aqua Line registered 3.24 lakh passengers in its first month of operation, according to the NMRC, with officials hoping a spurt in ridership once the Blue Line’s Sector 52 station goes operational.
“Once that line begins, expectedly in the second half of March, we will see rise in ridership numbers. Work is underway for a direct pathway from Sector 51 station to Sector 52 station and a carriage-way for e-rickshaws which will carry the commuters between the two stations,” NMRC Executive Director P D Upadhyay told PTI Wednesday.
Trial run had begun last month on the 6.8-km-long elevated corridor of the DMRC’s Blue Line which will extend from Noida City Centre station to Electronic City via Sector 34, Sector 52, Sector 61, Sector 59, Sector 62.
“Work on Blue Line extension is over and trial is underway. The safety inspection is expected soon,” a senior DMRC official said.
Mr Saxena, who works in Delhi, told PTI, “We have an example of the connectivity between the Yellow Line and the Magenta Line at the Hauz Khas metro station. It feels like a never ending walk there. This is an obvious issue.”
Eva Momin, who works in a corporate firm in Gurgaon, said she travels daily from Greater Noida to her office in a shared cab as Aqua Line”s lack of connectivity with Blue Line is not helping commuters like her.
“I generally take a shared taxi to Okhla Bird Sanctuary from where I board the Magenta Line to Hauz Khas for onward journey to Gurgaon. I would even consider buses plying on the Expressway instead of Aqua Line to reach Okhla. Aqua Line is okay for a leisurely commute into Noida for non-work purpose,” she said.
Software engineer Shobhit Tyagi said he and his wife travel to Gurgaon in their car but would prefer the metro if it saved them time and offered a seamless and hassle-free journey
“On the days, my wife works from home or is on leave I opt the metro but take it from Botanical Garden station. Getting on the Aqua Line and changing at Sector 51 station, going to Noida City Centre and then changing at Botanical Garden again to board Magenta Line for Hauz Khas. This does not work,” said the 30-year-old.