In order to provide safe passage to pedestrians near Metro stations, who often put their lives at risk by crossing busy roads, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited is planning to allow non-Metro commuters to use its station facilities for free.
This means the general public can also use the stairs, escalators and elevators at Metro stations to go from one point to another during operational hours. Structural modifications to make this a reality are in the pipeline.
Allowing pedestrians to use facilities like elevators and escalators is a welcome initiative, especially since many Metro stations are located near roads with high-traffic density, often with dividers and few crossing locations. Given that most of the foot overbridges built by BBMP are not of much use, either because of their location or the manner of their construction, this seems to be a sensible alternative with additional footfall benefits for BMRCL.
“The goal is to provide road crossover connectivity to non-Metro users through unpaid areas at all existing Phase 1 Metro stations,” said BMRCL managing director Ajay Seth.
“Phase 2 station layout is being done to provide such connectivity from the beginning itself. Also, wherever there’s a Metro station on one side of the road (for example Hosur Road), a foot overbridge will be constructed by BMRCL,” he added.
Allowing non-Metro users will also help increase footfall at stations, which will enable BMRCL to tap non-fare revenue (from shops etc).
“Several stations require changes in location of entry/exit fare gates and security check. Some need civil work too. MG Road Metro station doesn’t have such a facility. Similarly, even Nagasandra and Dasarahalli don’t have FOB connectivity to other side of the road. It will take six to 10 months to set up the facilities,” said Seth.
BMRCL had earlier proposed an FOB across MG Road from Navrathan Jewellers side to the boulevard which houses Rangoli Metro Art Centre. In 2018, Hyderabad Metro Rail Corporation allowed pedestrians to use some stations. “It’s a good idea. BBMP is unnecessarily building FOBs in core city areas, even in places where the facility is not needed, just to shore up ad revenues,” said Aiswaraya Kumar, a passenger on MG Road.