Commuters can board trains using smart cards. No token will be issued. Services will start from Dakshineswar and Kavi Subhas terminals at 8am and end at 8pm. While there will be no train on Sundays, only special services (192) for essential staff of various sectors will run on Saturdays. Those trains will start at 8am and the last trains will leave the terminal stations at 8pm.
The carrier put a brake on public services from May 16, as the state government announced Covid-safety restrictions. According to the unlocking guidelines, Metro can operate from Monday to Friday only, with 50% passengers. The North-South Metro, which is the city’s transport lifeline, registered less than 50% of the full-capacity footfall ever since it resumed services in September, last year. In pre-Covid times, Metro registered at least 2,000 passengers a train at a time. As the pandemic struck, the count nosedived to 500 or barely 25% of capacity.
In the absence of local trains, the North-South Metro, which runs from Kavi Subhas station or Patuli in the south to Dakshineswar in the north, will now work with 81 services on each direction. As the second wave raged and chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced suspension of local trains from May 6, Metro Railway had to automatically reduce its services from 216 to 192. At that time, Metro GM Manoj Joshi had said, “We have to reduce trains in the absence of local trains. Our staff members will now have to depend on the Eastern Railway and South-Eastern Railway staff specials to report to work. Our operational hours must match with the staff specials.”
Though the general public are not allowed on Metro till now, the carrier started operating staff special trains along the 32km North-South corridor. Since last Monday, 104 specials have been available on both directions on the corridor. “This service will be available on Saturdays,” Metro spokesperson Rupayan Mitra said. On Saturdays, essential staff associated with health care service, veterinary service, assembly, law and order, courts, social welfare homes, banks, correctional services, power, drinking water supply, telecom, internet, fire services, disaster management and civil defence, sanitation, NGO and private sector associated with essential services, food and beverages, insurance, press, sewerage and funeral services can board the specials with their ID and Metro smart cards.
The GM on Tuesday inspected the under-construction Noapara-Bimanbandar Metro to assess the progress.