Delhi Metro reopened on September 7, under travel protocols in a graded manner. Metro resumed its services with curtailed operation of the Yellow Line.

After nearly five months, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) reopens and resumed its services in the national capital from September 7, under travel protocols introduced due to the spread of the novel coronavirus. Under Unlock 4.0, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on August 29, issued certain guidelines allowing Delhi metro services to restart operations in a graded manner.

Since March 23, with the announcement of a nationwide lockdown, the Delhi metro trains have not been functional. The commencement of Delhi metro services after around 169 days has completely altered the travel experience of Delhiites. The decision to resume metro services is a big relief to commuters in the capital. But here’s a warning- be prepared to mould yourself for the new normal.

In the first phase, the Yellow Line and the Gurugram Rapid Metro were opened for passengers from 7 am to 11 am and then from 4 pm to 8 pm. The same pattern will be followed by the blue and the pink lines from September 9. The rest of the Delhi metro’s corridors will reopen with all safety measures starting September 10.

Here are some things you should know before travelling:

1.Mandatory face masks for all passengers:

Wearing face masks will be mandatory for all passengers inside the Delhi metro stations and during the journey. In order to maintain safety standards, contactless thermal screening cum hand sanitiser machines are installed at the entry points of metro stations.

2. No tokens, only smart cards: 

To ensure no contact or cashless travel on the metro, no tokens will be issued. Only smart cards will be used by the passengers as they can be recharged digitally. The DMRC launched a smart card with an automatic top-up facility. A special app called Autope is specially developed for this purpose. Smart cards for passengers can be automatically recharged with Rs 200 at the automatic fare collection (AFC) gates whenever the value goes below Rs 100.

3. Social distancing norms:

It is advised that passengers should follow all social distancing norms as Delhi metro reopens its services amid a global pandemic. This is applicable while travelling in the metro and arriving at the metro station. According to the guidelines, passengers can only sit in alternate seats. In order to ensure social distancing in trains. In addition, marks have been put on the floors of the stations and platforms indicating space where commuters can stand while waiting for the train.

4. Baggage sanitisation points:

Authorities have also set up baggage sanitization points a few metres away from the entry point. This is where passenger bags will be sanitised before being scanned. Also, for the passenger’s security check, metal detectors have been attached with long sticks to maintain enough distance between the passenger and the personnel.  

5. Changes in metro announcements:

On entering the Delhi metro stations, the change in metro announcements can be noticed. Special announcements are being made to practice social distancing between passengers. The announcements are made every few minutes, in order to make passengers follow every instruction given by the authorities.

6. Using lifts and escalators:

A new method has been introduced for the usage of lifts. Passengers are required to push the peddle installed outside the door to call the lift. Only three people will be allowed at once and commuters will have to maintain a one-step gap on escalators.

7. Temperature control:

It is no longer going to be cold inside the trains. The DMRC will maintain a temperature of 26 degrees Celsius in the trains.

8. Stoppage time of the metro trains:

The stoppage time of metro trains on each station has been increased, in order to ensure social distancing between commuters while boarding/de-boarding trains. With every stoppage, sanitation workers are also entering to sanitise the metro as much as possible.

9. Limited entry gates to open:

DMRC has decided to limit the number of entry/exit points at each station to maintain the crowd. With the metro stations having more than two entry/exit gates, the DMRC is planning to open a specified number of gates to manage the crowd at metro stations.

10. No stoppages in containment zones:

Though Delhi Metro reopens its services, the train will not stop at containment zones to maintain the safety of the passengers.