5th September is a day the world celebrates as Teacher’s day, but, this year, Lucknow had one more reason to celebrate it.
It was the day when Lucknow Metro, the most ambitious project in Uttar Pradesh, had officially opened its gates to the general public.
Though it is currently running between only 8 Stations, is obviously a milestone that calls for a celebration.
Before the Lucknow City could celebrate its entry to the list of Cities with Metro Train, it’s 20-minute halt on the very first day due to an unknown technical issue made it to the news, showing the whole launch in the negative light.
Heck, even Apple iPhone X’s Face ID recognition failed at the demo, anyway, it’s not relevant here. Moving on…
The Lucknow Metro was being on the test run from last few months, and I had seen it on my way to the Airport sometime back.
So I make time on a hot Sunday afternoon to ride the Lucknow Metro and see how it feels.
I had to go to the Airport to pick someone up, sadly at the time of writing (10th September 2017) it only runs between Transport Nagar to/from Charbagh, with six more Stations in between.
Hopefully, we will see it running between more stations by the end of this year so that people can actually benefit from it.
Just by looking from the outside, one could easily figure out it has been made planned pretty similar to Delhi Metro, which is a no brainer once you find out that Mr. E Shreedharan, the Metro Man himself is overseeing the Lucknow Metro Project and is the Cheif Advisor of the Project.
So I step into the stations and I see people are excited, which is obvious, It’s the 5th Day of the Lucknow Metro in its operations.
Despite all the negative coverage of the Lucknow Metro, people are happy about it. It’s a Hot Sunday, and people have come here, just to get their first ride on the Metro.
You may have heard the saying, it’s about the journey, not the destinations, which fits perfectly in this situation. Almost everyone is here for the journey,
Perhaps that’s why it took me 20 Minutes to get the Token for Transport Nagar, costing me Rs 30.
Aside: I had two Rs 500 Notes (thanks to the Demonetization, yes, even after 9 months) and only Rs 29 in change, thanks to the guy behind me who contributed Re 1 so that I could take my first ride in Lucknow Metro.
20 Minutes is a lot of time just to buy the tickets, in a city like Lucknow, where you can easily travel 8-10Kms in that time. Surely, the Metro will move you faster without any traffic, but it is still going to take 15 Minutes to complete the distance of 11 Km between Charbach and Transport Nagar, I am also counting the 30-second halt on each station.
So it took me around 40 Minutes in total to reach Transport Nagar Metro Station from Charbagh Metro Station.
Surely there are Smart Cards which let you skip the 20 Minute waiting time, making the travel more time efficient.
Also, when it starts running between more stations and people travel far, it is going ot be even more efficient.
I didn’t buy the Smart Card because the Metro is not running between the places I frequently visit. and I also believe that it’s not every time of the day you will have to wait for 20 Minutes.
Maybe just on some holidays, or festivals etc, when it feels like the entire city is out roaming, we are over 1.3 Billion people after all.
Coming back from Transport Nagar to Charbagh took a little longer, because, I suppose the starting points are more crowded, it happens everywhere (hint: Delhi Metro)
Some people are saying Lucknow didn’t need a Metro, some even say people of Lucknow will ruin it just like they ruin all other things the city got.
But I am optimistic about it, I was there in Delhi when Metro was new there, in 2004, people then behaved the same way people are behaving in Lucknow Metro, they are excited, just like a Kid getting a new toy.
There were similar kinds of news for the Delhi Metro as well, but people of Delhi learned, it is going to take time for the Lucknow Metro as well.
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored or affiliated to Lucknow Metro. You can get more updated information about the Lucknow Metro on LMRCL