The Kochi Metro has decided to restart its 6 am trains from Monday due to a high demand from passengers. The metro resumed services from September 5 as per the Unlock 4 guidelines given by the union government. Trains were running shorter service hours, from 7 am to 9 pm, to limit the crowds. Prior to this, metros across the country were closed down for nearly six months due to the pandemic.
On Monday, the Kochi Metro reverted to its old timings and restarted the 6 am trains. The metro will go back to running from 6 am to 10 pm from now on, due to a rise in demand from commuters and an increase in crowds.
â€śIt is Christmastime now, people are going out shopping. We have been getting special requests for early morning train services and late-night trains. We have even got special train requests for trains especially post 9 pm,â€ť the PRO of Kochi Metro told TNM. Keeping this in mind, the metro services have reverted to operating 6 am trains, with the last train at 10 pm.
â€śThere is more demand for trains, with more passengers taking the trains. Offices and shops have opened and people are going to work every day. With lesser trains, more passengers will enter one train. With more trains, riders will be spread out and we can practice some amount of social distancing. There wonâ€™t be crowds in one area,â€ť the PRO added. It was factoring all this in that the Metro reverted to its original timings.
According to reports, the pandemic led to the metro services suffering huge losses. From March to early September, when trains were finally allowed to run, the Kochi Metro suffered a loss of Rs 34.18 crore due to the suspension of trains. This put the Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) in severe financial crisis, as it had to pay salaries to its 1000-plus staff including Kudumbashree workers, and also maintain the tracks and its 25 trains.