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Demand for Metro service surges

Published : 12 Feb 2024 10:36 PM

It was announced that the metro rail in the city would cater to 5 lakh passengers daily operating 24 trains in both directions with an interval of 4.5 minutes between each train. 

However, critics argue that the authorities have not lived up to the promise, as they are not operating the anticipated 24 sets of train, and the headway time between trains is twice as long as initially projected. At present it also carrying half number of its promised passengers daily. 

Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL) information showed that the headway time will be reduced within next couple of months considering the demand of passengers. Till now what steps they have taken is based on survey. However, after calculating and conducting new survey, the authorities will take decision whether they will operate metro rail till mid night.   

In recent time, the surge in passenger that has been witnessed is due to Book fair, International Trade Fair, and Bishwa Ijtema. If the trend continues, a new decision to increase the service of metro rail will be announced soon. 

While this correspondent 

searching to know how many sets of metro rail is operating and why not the headway time is reducing, it was found that, at present eight sets of train are operating during peak hour and seven sets of train are operating during off peak hour. But all the 24 sets of train are operating rotationally. 

At present, DMTCL has all the preparations to operate 24 sets of train till midnight but they are unable to do so as there is lack of trained manpower. At the same, despite having capacity to operate metro rail till mid night, the authority is taking time to make it economically viable. 

DMTCL managing director MAN Siddique said that they have observed a notable increase in passengers. However, there is a concern about the sustainability of this surge in the coming days. As a result, they are exercising caution and taking time before making any decisions.

About reducing headway time, he said that if the headway time is reduced it will increase the operating cost. Nevertheless, they will conduct a survey and take decision about how many trains will be operated till mid night.  

DMTCL sources have indicated that 1024 manpower positions were allocated for the Uttara to Motijheel metro rail, known as MRT-6. As of now, 730 appointments have been made, leaving a portion of the positions still vacant. 

Despite the increasing popularity of the metro rail, a recent trend shows that the trains are consistently reaching full capacity, leaving a significant number of commuters unable to board. 

In this situation, several demands were raised to increase the metro coaches and half fare was also demanded from students. 

However, Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said that plan is underway to reduce the headway time by two minutes more. 

However, the minister has also hinted that even if there is passenger demand, number of metro rail caoches will not increase right now.