Coimbatore: Only about 30 passengers travelled by the train on its maiden journey from Mettupalayam to Coimbatore upon resumption of service after more than three weeks.
The passenger patronage improved a bit on Wednesday, but still the train ran with less than one fourth of its total seating capacity of 400. Apart from COVID-19 fears among the people, the train, which is now run as a special service is halted only at limited stops, including North Coimbatore and Karamadai. It doesn’t stop at Thudiyalur and Perianaickenpalayam resulting in loss of passengers.
Also, the fare remains high at Rs 30 per trip from Mettupalayam to Coimbatore as against Rs 10 during normal times, claimed passengers.
However, M Jammel Ahmed, Chairman of Coimbatore Railway Passengers Welfare Association, said that the passengers can avail season ticket which is sold in the regular fare of Rs 185 per month to travel between Mettupalayam and Coimbatore.
“As the train is operated as a special service, the extra fare is collected as reservation charges,” he said. Only one service has been operated now as against six during the pre-lockdown time.
“This train has been very useful for people coming to Coimbatore for medical purposes. With no bus services and taxis charging high to cover a distance of about 40 km, the patronage would increase in the coming days when people get to know about the service,” he added.
Source : DT NEXT