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Namma metro - first thoughts
vijayr
I recently spent a lot of time traipsing around NYC on the metro, and therefore consider myself an expert on metro commuting! ;)

I recently had a  joyride namma metro with kids in Bangalore, and these are my first impressions.
  • Wow!
  • Wow! This can be a game changer!
That being said, surely the guys who designed this system have seen other, more mature systems like NYC or London? Its not clear that they have, because some of the design is downright stupid.
  • The trains are too short. It was jam packed on Sunday, and all trains had only 3 carriages. Just add more carriages at high traffic times already! Thankfully, the platforms are big enough to accomadate longer trains.
  • Plastic rfid? tokens are not optimal. Need some cheap, disposable tickets which need not be retrieved from passengers. NYC dispenses paper tickets with a magnetic swipe. It also introduces a choke point when people exit, needing to return these tokens.
  • Buying a ticket is painful. Only one-way tickets are stupid. Just introduce day passes and round trips already! WTF are the metro guys waiting for??
  • Are the turnstiles 2-way? They need to manage exit better, only a few turnstiles were available, while the entry turnstiles stood empty but unavailable.
Also, the planners have made a BIG mistake - the East of Bangalore is very poorly connected. The Koramangala/Whitefield/Indira Nagar is a big IT corridor, with huge traffic, and is not touched by the metro at all.

All in all, it seems like a 50/50 job - what's been done looks very promising, but is marred by typical Indian "jugaad" - the bad kind. Hopefully, it will be fixed and soon.

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