On Day One Delhiites Feel Metro Is Safe but Last Mile Connectivity Remains an Issue

As the Delhi metro resumed operations partially in the national capital yesterday (Monday, 7th September 2020) many commuters who used the service amid the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic said they were concerned about last mile connectivity to reach their final destinations after deboarding the trains.

On day one, mostly office-goers travelled in the sanitised train coaches of the rapid transit system. Most of the commuters at the Kashmere Gate metro station said even though they felt safe and had a comfortable ride in the metro since all precautionary measures were in place, once they deboard the train they may not feel safe taking e-rickshaws, auto-rickshaws or cabs to reach their final destination.

Gautam Kumar, who works at AIIMS, said after getting out of the metro station he has no option other than sharing an e-rickshaw in which social distancing is difficult to maintain.

“I live in Shahbad Dairy and will have to take an e-rickshaw to return to my home from Samaypur Badli metro station. An e-rickshaw driver usually allows five passengers and no social distancing is maintained and if we raise this issue, the driver would instead tell us to take another vehicle,” he said.

Rytham Kaushal, a resident of GTB enclave in northeast Delhi, said, “I went to Connaught Place this morning for some work in an auto-rickshaw. As there are not many people in the metro, I am comfortable to commute in the train. But last mile connectivity is an issue.”

She said in public transport, passengers as well as drivers must take adequate precautionary measures to ensure their and everyone else’s safety during the pandemic.

“We can take precautions like using hand sanitizer. But if the drivers are not maintaining social distancing, then how would it work. Only passengers taking precautions will not do, even the drivers will have to be equally alert,” Kaushal stressed.

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