South Western Railway has decided to cancel the Memu express trains to and from the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) railways station. According to a report by Money Control, the decision has left several citizens concerned and unhappy.
According to the Bengaluru divisional railway manager, the trains will be cancelled from June 1 due to low ridership. The railway manager also stated that the occupancy rates have also been falling below 5%, with a shortage of crew members.
The decision comes at a time when airport passengers are already concerned with the traffic problems and the increasing prices of the app-based taxi services in the city.
“The poor patronage to and from KIA station is a result of abysmally low punctuality, lack of maintenance of trains, incorrect routes, and timings. SWR has made no substantial efforts to improve patronage. In fact, extending the service to Chikaballapur could have been a win-win situation.” said Rajkumar Dugar, Commuter rail activist.
The Bengaluru airport is located at a distance of 3.5 km from the KIA terminal. It was built at a cost of around Rs. 3 crore by BIAL.
The travel time to the airport by Memu train is 90 minutes which also includes a 10-minute free hustle bus service between the terminal and the halt station. The major concern of commuters is the difference between the prices of public transport and private applications. The Memu train costs around Rs. 30, while the app-based services range from Rs. 1200 to Rs. 1500.
The report by Money Control said that a major part of their reluctance is due to the poor services, including poor frequency and lack of punctuality.