Noida’s much awaited aqua line, which was inaugurated last week on Friday, did not have an extremely smooth Monday. The metro saw a footfall of 11,625 riders on the first day and commuters were faced with problems relating to metro cards and tokens, both of which have been revamped for the Aqua Line.
The newly launched Aqua Line uses separate smart cards from the ones that are used for other Delhi metro routes. In order to avail of a smart card, commuters had to fill out lengthy forms and provide adequate address proofs and ID proofs, which made filling the forms a chore in itself. Commuters had to stand in long queues only to get the form.
Another issue that plagued the commuters was the fact that Aqua Line won’t be using the usual plastic tokens, but would use QR code tickets made of paper. The problem with this was that once the tickets were folded, they were rendered pretty much useless. Additionally, commuters were not fully aware of how to use the tickets in the first place, which led to lengthy queues in the stations.
These issues in turn were responsible for delaying students for their morning classes and professionals for urgent meetings. Some commuters went as far as to say that connectivity to the metro line from Noida Sector 51 was lacking and not what they expected.
The conditions took a turn for the worse when several commuters stated that they would rather make use of buses from Botanical Garden to Pari Chowk. They backed this by saying that it would be more time consuming for them to first get a form and fill the required particulars.
As of now, NMRC has not taken a sturdy position on the matter, but are planning to rework their strategy. Signs have been put up in all Aqua Line stations that instruct travellers to not fold up the tokens. There is no word on how they plan to enhance connectivity from the connecting metro stations or to change the procedure for getting a smart card, but it should be coming soon enough.
We feel that the Aqua Line is a great addition to the metro rail system and it does make matters convenient, but the issues faced by daily commuters should be addressed to make it a more profitable network.