Chennai Metro is all set, with nowhere to go

Finally, it looks like the Chennai Metro is ready to roll out services across its full length of 45.1 km in Phase I, nine years after it was approved by the Centre.

As one of the biggest urban infrastructure projects of Chennai, costing upwards of $2.5 billion, it upgrades the city’s profile globally, although it is nowhere near the emerging international paradigm of Mobility as a Service (MaaS). In fact, it is a pretty scattered set of options in Tamil Nadu’s capital, with a mix of regulated systems for low quality government-run buses, suburban trains operated by the Central government, the Metro added now, regulated but essentially lawless feeders like autorickshaws, along with a growing share of unregulated “Share Auto” vans. There are, of course, Uber and Ola.

The eerily empty underground Chennai Metro section between Tirumangalam and Egmore. Picture taken in January 2019. Photo G. Ananthakrishnan

From Airport to Washermenpet, and Central to St. Thomas Mount, the Chennai Metro is set to offer a faster, modern commuting alternative. Yet, it is doing many things gravely wrong, and can never achieve its full potential until these terrible mistakes are corrected.

Chennai Metro is not in sync with the Metropolitan Transport Corporation bus service:

The MTC bus service in Chennai is already in decline, since it has shifted its focus away from urban operations to suburbs like Sholinganallur on the IT corridor, Poonamallee, with just a few old services still operating in the core city. I pointed that out in this tweet recently, responding to similar concerns in Mumbai.

MTC’s mini-buses, meant to be affordable feeder services, are disappearing over alleged revenue declines although they were never operated with scientific routing. They failed to link railway stations, bus termini and early Metro stations. Recently, the AIADMK government diverted four of these feeder buses to Salem, depriving Chennai. Many others are being used merely as staff buses now, and not on routes.

An MTC small bus that was operated as a special during the recent Pongal festivities, seen on Anna Salai. MTC has no planned routing of these services. Photo: G. Ananthakrishnan

Such trends run counter to the claim made by MTC that mini buses are actually connecting suburban railway stations, bus termini and Metro stations. JICA (the Japan International Cooperation Agency) which has part-funded Phase I of the Chennai Metro should at least now get both MTC and the Metro systems to sit down and arrive at a plan to align all available routes with the new train system. What we mean is that all buses that pass a Metro station currently should compulsorily have a stop at that station. This does not require any fresh investment, and actually helps both buses and train systems, not to speak of passengers.

Buses stopping at Metro stations should carry a prominent sticker on their windscreen that says the route is a “Metro Link”.

The State government should sanction permits to share autos from Metro stations:

The present “official” scheme of running a few autorickshaws and taxis as share vehicles from select Metro stations is poorly thought out, because a train carries a 1,000 passengers when it is full, and this is not a viable feeder service option at all. So there has to be an expansion that is legally enabled. Allowing designated feeders will help passengers go from their doorstep to the Metro stations, which the present auto-taxi shares permitted by CMRL does not enable.

A share autorickshaw that runs “illegally” on a taxi permit, practically as a stage carriage taking passengers at random on the road, dropping them at locations of high demand. It even has a route board. Interestingly, the Transport Department in Tamil Nadu does not allow sharing apps like Bla Bla Car for private users. Photo: G. Ananthakrishnan

Since the AIADMK government is not averse to CMRL providing some limited cab services even now from the stations, without any legal changes to the taxi permit scheme, there is no reason why this should not be formalised. The Motor Vehicles Act amendments that the NDA government failed to introduce contained a provision for such liberalisation.

Moreover, share autorickshaws by the thousands have been allowed by both DMK and AIADMK governments to run in various parts of Chennai, and there is no reason why this system should not be permitted through a change to the rules and streamlined to connect Metro stations, suburban stations and MTC bus termini. A proper scheme will bring more entrants into the system and expand availability. It will also reduce the need to operate personal vehicles, thereby reducing congestion and pollution, which is a growing concern (see below).

Extend pedestrian infrastructure along all roads to help walkers comfortably take the Metro:

Both DMK and AIADMK governments have allowed rampant encroachment of walking spaces in Chennai over the years, and the meagre efforts to restore them near the Metro stations is simply not adequate to bring back walking as a mobility option.

The stretch of Anna Salai, about 200 metres from the LIC station of the Chennai Metro. Evidently, it has no facilities for pedestrians here. Photo: G. Ananthakrishnan

Footpaths conforming to the Indian Roads Congress standards should be built, and hawking regulated to ensure that it does not impede the movement of pedestrians. That means, size and location of hawking establishments should be defined, and maintained with accountability fixed on local body officials and Highways Department engineers.

Raise the game for MTC buses:

It is all too evident that the AIADMK government, as well as the NDA government in New Delhi have stifled the growth of urban bus transport. While modern trains are being bought at great expense, buses remain outdated in terms of design and comfort. There is nothing to capture the imagination of a new generation of passengers. Everything else is modern, except the bus service. There is not even information on services on smartphones! Moreover, a great deal of internal corruption has affected operators such as MTC.

The Metro may be a new system with air-conditioned coaches made by Alstom, but the bus service in Chennai is antiquated, rickety and decrepit. Photo: G. Ananthakrishnan

How did the Narendra Modi government let down bus users? By allowing corporations such as MTC to water down the national bus code (AIS052), which was supposed to improve the comfort and safety of passengers.

The priority for 2019 should be to tighten the bus code, and allow only low floor, air-conditioned buses in city operations. This should be taken up by the next government at the Centre.

The top priority for today should be the bare-bones, old-style linking of buses and trains in Chennai. The completion of the Chennai Metro and the recent operationalisation of the Chennai Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (CUMTA) must provide the impetus to achieve that.












Kodambakkam to Egmore, Rs.14, with a Metro ride thrown in

Can you travel from Kodambakkam in South Chennai to Dasaprakash on Poonamallee High Road (E.V.R Periyar High Road) at just Rs. 14, throwing in a short hop on the Chennai Metro also?

Surprisingly, this is what the ride costs.

If you are anywhere in a radius of 500 to 800 metres of the Kodambakkam Suburban Rail Station, it is just a ten minute walk to get there. With a five rupee ticket, you reach Chennai Egmore, where there a convenient transit point to the Chennai Metro.

Without really stepping out of the complex, you reach the Metro station, and swiping your card, make a fast hop to Nehru Park on P.H. Road on the air-conditioned train. Ticket price: Rs.9. The Dasaprakash junction is a five minute walk down the road, north.


The Chennai Metro Stations look posh underground, but attract few passengers because they cannot be accessed from residential areas easily. Photo: G. Ananthakrishnan

So this is actually a very feasible ride.

Of course, this experience poses several questions. When you arrive in the granite-clad confines of the “subway” Chennai Metro, you see that it is almost empty, even at 6 in the evening. Was Metro built only to take passengers from Central to the Airport? No, but that is effectively the use it is being put to. Of course, some go to the bus terminal CMBT at Koyambedu.

Does it have to be like this?

Of course not. But then, there is a big policy logjam that is preventing a change.

MTC has all but withdrawn except on arterial routes, and pulled out its small buses that should be going into residential areas. The fuel price hike is adding to its agony, compounding the mismanagement it suffers from.

By autorickshaw, it takes between Rs.25 and Rs. 50 to get to the nearest station – whether Metro, Suburban or MRTS – from these areas, and that’s not attractive at all. With that money, you an ride not less than 15 km on a two-wheeler.

Next, although private share autos (8-seater) are found in several locations in Chennai, there is no official scheme for them to operate. So organised investors cannot put their money into this sector. So the unlicensed ones serve just a few places, and not all rail stations. The amended Motor Vehicles Act aimed to change all that, but it has run into legislative trouble in the Rajya Sabha.

Planned commutes using the Metro are thus ruled out.

No Metro Connect

In the meanwhile, the executives who run Chennai Metro are making weak attempts to help themselves – with no results. They should have simply contracted their own own mini-buses and run them across a 3 km radius, with a distinctive branding – Pink and Green colour for the service – which they could call “Metro Connect”. If it is treated as an extension of the Metro, and registered as taxis, it may pass legal muster. It also raises the profile of the nearly $3 billion project. Most important, it would put the system to optimal use with a small additional feeder link fare.

Currently, they have a handful of ramshackle Share Autorickshaws and a few taxis on contract, but the arrangement seems to help the operators more than commuters. When you guarantee a rental for the vehicle, where is the incentive for it to operate at all? On the contrary, if it had been compensated on the basis of tickets – bought using an app – with an OTP (an Ola-type service), the operator would have kept it moving.

For now, though, the Chennai Metro is just a flashy successor to the MRTS, another epitome of neglect by the Indian Railways and the Tamil Nadu government. It has big ghostly stations, and few passengers like the MRTS did for years and still does in some places.

But let’s keep our fingers crossed. Maybe someone will see the light.

Chennai Metro has a door-to-door plan, but here’s why it won’t work

So the Chennai Metro Rail Limited, which runs the Central-Airport (25 km) and Airport-AG-DMS (15 km) services has today launched a limited last mile connectivity service using taxis and autos.

From what media reports say, it is going to be a twice-an-hour service, with fixed share charges of Rs.10 and Rs.15 for the 3 km that it covers, along designated routes.

A report in The Hindu says ” The shared car services will be available in Koyambedu, Alandur, Vadapalani and Anna Nagar East Metro Rail stations and share autos at AG-DMS, Guindy, Alandur, St. Thomas Mount, Ekkatuthangal and Ashok Nagar stations,” quoting officials.

A Central to Airport train on a weekday is almost empty, in the absence of good feeder services. Photo: G. Ananthakrishnan


Sadly, this is not a viable solution for last mile connectivity for the simple reason that trains run every seven to ten minutes most times of the day, and it is impractical to expect passengers to wait for twenty minutes for the next share transport to be available.

It is also another wasted opportunity to align the existing bus service with urban rail in Chennai, and to grow the network of small buses.

All that the Tamil Nadu government had to do, as a partner in the Chennai Metro venture, was to provide a stop for regular MTC buses at each Metro station, so that passengers could switch modes effortlessly. It would have worked wonders for traffic and revenues for both networks. It is, of course, a tragic reality that this option has traditionally been neglected for the suburban train system as well, as this blog has pointed out in the past. Read about that here (this blog was reproduced by an independent website).

By contrast, though, the taxi-auto transport mafia in Chennai Central was broken with the simple modification of allowing buses to enter the station, to drop off and pick-up passengers from within. The same holds good for the Western section of Egmore station, which now connects with the Chennai Metro as well.

These developments on stunted last mile connectivity must come as a major source of worry and disappointment for the Japan International Cooperation Agency, which provided the funding linkage for the Chennai Metro project. If JICA had mandated public consultations with users on a regular basis, the management of the CMRL would have been compelled to listen to suggestions from the public, and make plans accordingly. So would the MTC, which has been cutting services citing shrinking patronage and mounting losses.

For the moment, though, commuters and Chennai Metro must be satisfied with just half-measures that just cannot provide a boost to the new train service.

MV Act Amendments

Realising the non-cooperative attitude of State governments such as the one in Tamil Nadu, the Central government proposed to amend the Motor Vehicles Act to make provision for last mile connectivity through new schemes that the States would have to compulsorily implement. This will be done through entirely new sections, 66A and 88A, added to the law.

It has become necessary to do this, because of the amorphous growth of urban transport in Indian cities. Tourist taxi vehicles such as Share Autos are operating as virtual stage carriages (similar to buses, offering regular stops along a route to pick up and drop passengers on a fixed fare). These are illegal under the law, but are thriving in cities and unsurprisingly, are also welcomed by passengers in the absence of any affordable option.

The proposed MV Act amendments are stuck in the Rajya Sabha, with little scope of being passed in the current session. As this editorial in The Hindu mentions, the States are opposed to the amendments because it compels them to adopt a new scheme initiated by the Centre.

Yet, providing an easy-to-use and affordable last mile connectivity option in the form of 14 to 20 seater buses is a win-win for everyone. It can be rolled out overnight, if the regulatory structures are in place. It will help passengers move to stations – both Chennai Metro and Suburban Railway / MRTS – with minimum effort. It will decongest the inner city, making travel safer. The TN Government can put out a scheme, for private entrepreneurs to invest in, since the government is unable to expand MTC services.

If it needs legislative compulsion to achieve this, because State governments refuse and want to protect vested interests, there is every reason to amend the Central law. The rights of the commuter should be of paramount importance. These rights are not antagonistic to the prospects of operators of last mile solutions like autorickshaws and share vans. In fact, they are supportive of it if there is a proper arrangement.

No one can be allowed to create a bottleneck to exploit passengers, or to deny the expensive Chennai Metro the opportunity to serve thousands of commuters.

Update: The Hindu today reports that there will be two share autos or two cabs to a station. They will operate once in 30 minutes as reported earlier. To put that in perspective, a train carries about 1,000 people. Clearly, no one is serious about feeder services.

How to locate Chennai Airport Metro station, Tirusulam suburban rail station

India does a poor job of providing signage, and nowhere is it more evident than at the Chennai Airport.

So here are some pointers to finding the Chennai Metro station and Tirusulam suburban train station from the arrivals area. There are no MTC airport buses in operation.

When you are leaving the International Arrivals area, you pass through a small canopy from which you can see the car parking area ahead, and the Chennai Metro station on your left. The difficulty is in locating the elevator that will take you and your baggage to the concourse level of the Metro.

The entrance to the Chennai Airport Metro at the ground level is actually through this eatery.  Photos : G. Ananthakrishnan (Creative Commons)

Picture above shows the station entry, flanked by two entrances to a big AAI Canteen, which is open to both Airport Authority staff, and to the public. Tip: It offers cheaper, more varied food than the kiosks inside and outside the airport.

Go past the canteen entrance to the left, and you will see the car parking area of the Metro ahead (pictures below). Here, you notice a sign pointing to the elevator. Walk in, and the elevator is at the left. Proceed to the concourse, and good luck.

This is the pathway that leads to the rear of the canteen seen in photo above.
Here you see the entrance to the parking area, and the almost hidden elevator at left, inside

Finding the Tirusulam station is much more difficult. You must walk beyond the Metro point described above, on to the left, and look for the ticket booths for car entry. Walk past the booths and ahead, until you spot the entrance to the Tirusulam Pedestrian Subway (photo below). This is the entry you want to take, to reach the suburban train station. The Grand Southern Trunk road is at right.

This is the entrance to both the Tirusulam pedestrian subway, that helps you cross to the East, across GST Road, and also reach the suburban train station of Indian Railways

Other than at the subway entrance, there are no boards pointing to either the subway or suburban train station.

So why take the trouble to walk to the suburban train? It costs five Indian rupees for a distance of about 10 km, while the Chennai Metro costs Rs. 40! But bear in mind, the Tirusulam station area can be rough, since it is not well illuminated. Exercise caution depending upon the time of your travel. Nights can be tricky, since there is no significant police presence.

As with many things Indian, the elevator in the subway does not work. So be prepared to haul your luggage to the station crossing some flights of stairs. There is one ramp leading to the train platform beyond the booking office, though.

Here’s a piece in The Hindu on how quickly you can get to the airport by the different travel choices currently available in Chennai.


Why MTC is sinking and taking the Chennai Metro with it

Chennai’s Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) is no more the monopoly provider of shared rides in the city, with share autorickshaws eating into its ridership on arterial routes. Moreover, it is losing revenues after it raised the fares, without any improvement to bus services or their quality – it had no air-conditioned services to offer this summer. But surprise! MTC did not make any move to find out how much it is losing to these 8-seater share auto vehicles, most of which are operated without a proper permit.

Share autos are in the grey zone, since there is no way they can be legalised.

Answering a Right to Information request, MTC said last week that it had no estimate of the number of trips it was losing to share autorickshaws. “No, however MTC is taking appropriate action against the illegal operation of private auto / share auto in Chennai,” it said.


Evades answers on Chennai Metro

The bus corporation also evaded answers to questions on whether it had held discussions with Chennai Metro Rail Limited, on running feeder buses from stations.

Asked for details of any meetings that it had held with CMRL on the topic, and the dates when these were held, the MTC replied, “In the interest of public welfare, MTC is providing sufficient number of connecting services through Chennai Metro stations and MRTS/Southern Railway stations in and around Chennai.”

MTC also revealed that:

Of 200 small buses purchased as of May 1, 2018, 5% are not operational, that is 11 buses.

Only Ashok Nagar, Alandur, Nehru Park, Central, AG-DMS, Vadapalani, CMBT Koyambedu stations of Chennai Metro are connected via small buses.

Thus, the following Metro stations are not connected:




Little Mount





Shenoy Nagar

Pachaiyappa’s College


All these are currently functional Metro stations.


MTC claimed to provide a bus link to the following suburban/MRTS of the Southern Railway:









Madhya Kailash MRTS

In fact, in November 2017, as it was completing the underground line to Central, Chennai Metro was hosting an Ola cab kiosk and announcements about a small bus service from Nehru Park to Central. Metro services have not been extended up to Central.

MTC does not a policy of providing open data on its services, preventing better utilisation of even the meagre available fleet through the creation of software applications for mobile phones.

This article in the News Minute quotes a government official to say MTC is working on GPS-based services. In reality, it has already trialled GPS-based services through multiple channels, but quietly withdrew all efforts for unexplained reasons.

Where Chennai MTC Volvos go to die

This is the place that Chennai MTC does not want you to see. It’s where good buses are turned into junk, left to rust and die.

The Chromepet MTC depot, about a kilometre from the suburban railway station, is a ghost yard.

There are abandoned Volvos, which are at most 8 years old. There are of course scores of the less expensive buses from Leyland and Tata, which have departed from a useful life. Their rusting bodies just lie there, killed by some mysterious management disease.

On Monday, I was passing by and noticed these buses through the gate. I took the pictures that you see here, and that set off panic among a couple of staffers, one of whom had seen me.

I had walked almost one km further, when two men on a scooter came behind me, wanting to know why I took pictures.

“Who are you,” I asked.

“Staff,” said the rider. When I told them I was a journalist, they became a little cautious but were still pressing on that pictures should not be taken.

“Why, is it some secret,” I asked.

“No. No. Nothing. It’s full of bushes there. So just wanted to know,” the rider in a lungi said. His scooter had a crude MTC sticker on the front.

“What’s your name. Give me your phone number,” I demanded. He declined. The man on his pillion said he was not staff. Both went away.

Who sent these men? What does MTC have to hide, especially in the wake of the steep fare hike?

We need a judicial inquiry into the state of our transport corporations. A Volvo bus could not turn into junk in 8 years unless there is monumental corruption in this Corporation.

Why is not the DMK revealing the truth? What are LPF, its labour wing, and the Left Unions like CITU hiding? Are they involved in what’s going on?

The last photo is that of a disused MTC industrial training institute. Why is it abandoned? This was paid for by tax payers. Should it not be used to train some youth in skills? Even if they don’t go to work for MTC?

Update: Since the publication of this post, I got the following response from a senior government official, making the point that MTC buses have actually been used way beyond their “scrap by” date. Here’s what the official says (unedited):

A judicial enquiry into how buses that should have been condemned otherwise where allowed to continue to be utilised till the point of total breakdown – would be in order. I can be of help. Some facts : long distance buses should be condemned immediately after 3 years or 7 lakh kilometres whichever is earlier and other buses should be condemned immediately after 6 years or 7 lakh kilometres whichever is earlier. On both counts, the Volvo buses should have been condemned way beyond the time they were allowed to be in operation.

Transport strike: Ola Share Express as an option

The very effective transport strike in Tamil Nadu and its capital city, Chennai now into its sixth day, makes commuting a sort of game, where you have to choose the best available option at the least expense. Of course, walking and cycling are the cheapest.

I have discovered that Ola’s Share Express is good for Anna Salai (Mount Road). I am sure it operates on other fixed routes too.

So I am prompted by the Ola App to book the Share Express ride, when I am at Panagal Park, T. Nagar. The pick-up point is at the corner of Prakasam Road and G.N. Chetty Road, which is currently just outside the Amma Canteen ahead of Saravana Furniture and Murugan Idli. For my 5.5 km ride, the share fare ranges between Rs. 41 to Rs.46. (See location link)

Share Express is a peak hour-only facility, and useful for office-goers, although not many seem to be aware of it, including Ola’s drivers.


I get to my office opposite the new Secretariat -Super Specialty Hospital building beyond P. Orr and Sons in about 20 minutes.

It’s worthwhile trying for an Ola Auto as well, although the benefits are almost similar.

So the next time, try aligning your ride to Ola Share Express. If you have some perspective on this, feel free to share!

How to get around the bus strike in Chennai

The MTC bus workers strike in Chennai since yesterday evening is pretty effective, and the impact is severe on some classes of commuters more than others, and some areas like the suburbs, over others.

Here are some possibilities of moving across parts of the city, while the issue gets sorted out:
20171126_150115-1238x1651 (1)

1. Check the distance to the nearest route where share autos – mini vans – operate. You can get one somewhere close in T.Nagar, Valluvar Kottam, Loyola College, Nungambakkam on College Road, Luz-Mylapore, Inner Ring Road near Ashok Nagar, Tirumangalam, Vadapalani junction, Mogappair, and Velachery-St. Thomas Mount.

2. Use the Chennai Metro if you are going from a point close-by from the limited service, to Kilpauk, Anna Nagar, Tirumangalam, Koyambedu CMBT bus stand, Vadapalani, Ashok Nagar, St. Thomas Mount, Nanganallur and airport.

3. Ola and Uber had regular operations since morning, and it should be possible to get a cab, including share rides. Try Ola Auto and you just may be lucky.

4. Suburban/MRTS trains are an option touching Central, Velachery, Tambaram, and other regular points ranging from Chengalpattu to Gummidipoondi. Download the UTS app and Rs.100 to it, to go paperless (e-ticket) on the Beach-Tambaram route.

5. For inter-city movements, check out an app like Bla Bla Car, taking care to check out the record of people offering rides. Caveat emptor: Do not use this option if you are doubtful, or if you think you carry a higher risk, like a woman travelling alone.

6. Autorickshaws continue to operate, but you need good negotiating skills and knowledge of distances to avoid being fleeced.


Chennai Metro to link DMS and Central to airport by March 2018

By G. Ananthakrishnan

Chennai Metro Rail will connect two more sections with the airport in Tirusulam-Meenambakkam by March 2018: DMS on Anna Road and Chennai Central, the city’s most important rail terminal.

With that linkage, the rail system effectively will connect suburban trains operating upto Arakkonam in the West and Gummidipoondi in the northwest, from Central. It already links the city’s central bus station, CMBT, with the airport by rail.

The timeline for the new connections was highlighted by a Chennai Metro Rail Limited executive recently to a group of visitors including this writer.


Connecting the premier rail head in the city, and Chennai Egmore, the secondary rail terminal and CMBT will provide a commercially viable section to Chennai Metro, while it waits to complete its delayed project on arterial Anna Road and the line to North Chennai. About 150 metres of tunneling between Gemini (US Consulate point) to AG-DMS (see map) is yet to be completed, holding up early operation of the entire line.

Some key points on the current operations of Chennai Metro:

  • Green Line from Nehru Park to Airport: It provides a connection from Nehru Park on  EVR Periyar High Road (Poonamallee High Road) to the Airport (20.6 km), covering Kilpauk, Pachaiyappa’s College, Shenoy Nagar, Anna Nagar East, Anna Nagar Tower, Tirumangalam, Koyambedu CMBT (bus terminal), Arumbakkam, Vadapalani, Ashok Nagar, Eekathuthangal, Alandur, Nanganallur Road, Meenambakkam Metro. The map for the line is here. Normal fare given by Chennai Metro website for the entire stretch is Rs.60. Cards get some discounts. See this page for details.
  • At the moment, only smart cards are sold for travel on the underground section, between Nehru Park and Airport. It costs Rs.10 plus the fare, so you can use it again or keep a ten-rupee souvenir if you just passing through. (It would be environmentally friendly to give the cards a five year validity, so it is not added to the waste pile).
  • Small bus link: While we wait for the connection to Central to be completed, there is a small bus on route S96 operating between Central and Nehru Park, via Egmore. It is not designed to carry baggage, so you have to think twice whether you want to take an Uber or Ola or other mode of transport up to Nehru Park, to board the train to the airport. This is a typical third world bus with narrow entrance and exit, friendly neither to people nor meant to transport passengers transferring between trains and planes. There is an Ola counter at Nehru Park, if you wish to use that in the reverse direction to Central. Another May I Help You counter for MTC route S96 is also there, but it seemed to be unmanned last week at 11 a.m.
  • Integrated tickets: Chennai Metro says it is planning to have integrated tickets between its services and those of MTC, starting with the Small Bus. Details are sketchy, and it is likely to  work using the hand-held ticket terminals used by MTC conductors.
  • Security is a big priority at Chennai Metro and all baggage is scanned, airport-style, and passengers are frisked.
  • Real Time Passenger Info: Chennai Metro also says it has successfully trialled a real time passenger information system, although there is no timeline for its availability on the CMRL Totems that are found outside the stations, or on the official app of the Metro system.
  • Step-free access: Look out for lifts at the Metro stations, since escalators don’t exist to reach the underground concourses and platforms. I have found it difficult to navigate to the lifts at the airport.

Catch a glimpse of the recently opened underground system of Chennai Metro and the work in progress, in this slideshow.


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