With the weekend curfew in Karnataka being withdrawn by the state government on Friday, January 21, the restrictions on Bengaluru metro timings have also been eased. Starting from Saturday, January 22, the Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) will operate its metro trains from 5 am to 11 pm on all days of the week, and from 7 am to 11 pm on Sundays. Earlier, the operational hours of metro trains were cut down due to the restrictions on movement of people and weekend curfew imposed in the state to curb COVID-19 cases.
The weekend curfew in Karnataka had been in place from 10 pm on Fridays till 5 am on Mondays. The decision to lift the weekend curfew was taken at an expert committee meeting on January 21. Announcing the lifting of the weekend curfew, Karnataka Revenue Minister R Ashoka said on Friday, January 21 that it could be imposed again if hospitalisations rise above 5% of COVID-19 cases. He said that the night curfew and the 50% occupancy rule will continue to be in place. Several politicians in the state, including from within the ruling BJP, had called for the restrictions to be lifted for economic reasons.
Earlier in January, in view of COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the state government, the BMRCL had changed the operational timings of Bengaluru metro to run on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 am to 9 pm.The frequency of the trains was also reduced to 20 minutes during the weekend. From Monday to Thursday, train services were available from 5 am to 11 pm, with the frequency reduced during the last hour. On Fridays, metro services were available only till 10 pm.
A few days later, the BMRCL also limited the number of people allowed in metro trains and stations at a time, with only as many people as the number of seats available in each metro train allowed to wait inside stations. These guidelines were implemented from January 12. The frequency of trains on Saturdays and Sundays was also further reduced from 20 minutes to 30 minutes due to the weekend curfew.