Friday, April 4, 2008

Chennai MRTS

The first time I traveled in the overhead Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) in Chennai around three years ago was out of curiosity. My home state of Kerala doesn't have metro rail in any of its major cities, let alone one that runs on elevated tracks.

[pic: Mylapore (Thirumayilai) MRTS Station]

I became a more frequent user of the MRTS after I shifted my residence to Adyar area, which made Kasturba Nagar station just 5 minutes walk from my house. By then railways had extended the service to Velachery and increased the frequency to once every fifteen minutes. This mode of transport made an excellent alternative to the slow, crowded MTC buses, and the extremely expensive autorikshaws (one has to shell out anywhere between 100 and 150 to travel from Chennai Central to Adyar). At Rs 6 per ticket, and a travelling time of just 20 minutes, MRTS trains are a relief, the only grouses being that the services stops before 9 pm, and that most stations are in bad shape. The station at Kasturba Nagar (at Madhya Kailash signal) sports modern looks (at least most part of it), though the one at Indira Nagar is pathetic. Now that the usage rate has gone up, I hope that railways begin to keep the stations properly maintained and well lit.

[pic: MRTS track near Mylapore]

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