Covering a distance of over five kilometres in the first phase and costing Rs 1,100 crore, Rapid Rail will begin its commercial operation from November 14. The new metro system will connect key office hubs of Gurgaon with Delhi Metro, enhancing last mile connectivity in the area.
In the first phase, Rapid Metro will cover six stations of Sikanderpur, DLF Phase II, Belvedere Towers, Moulsari Avenue and DLF Phase III. The sixth station near Shankar Chowk, called Gateway Tower is still under construction and is expected to be completed by March 2014. The fare will be charged at a flat of Rs 12.
The entire ride of five stations takes about 14 minutes, with an average speed of 30 km/hr. The train will run at a frequency of four minutes starting at 6.00 AM in the morning up till 12.20 AM midnight. The ticketing system has been integrated and the commuter can use the same token for Rapid Rail as the ticket price will be charged along with the DMRC fares at the first point of ticket sale.
“We expect to carry over 40,000 people everyday in the first three months of operation and by the end of the year we hope that the ridership will be over 90,000 people every day, “said Mr Sanjiv Rai, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Infrastructure Leasing & & Financial Services Rail Ltd, which is the private partner in the project.
Rapid Metro is a Public Private Partnership between Haryana Urban Development Authority and IL&FS Rail Ltd. Under the PPP, HUDA has given about 50% of the total the land and facilitated the process for required clearances for the project. The private partner has put in the money for construction of the required infrastructure, procured the rolling stock and will also take care of the operations.
Under the concessionaire, the ticketing revenue will not be shared with HUDA and only a part of non-ticketing revenue will be shared. About 5-10% of the non-ticketing revenue is expected to be shared with HUDA. “The project is financially sustainable that is the reason we have executed it, “said Rai.
Each train has three coaches and 15 coaches for the five trains have been bought from Siemens. The Rapid Rail will have 40 drivers which includes one female driver. The drivers have been trained by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.
For the first time in India, private players have been roped in for station branding.Under this program station names have been branded, like Vodafone Belvedere Towers, Micromax Moulsari Avenue and IndusInd Bank Cyber City. Three out of the five stations have been branded so far and the other two are expecting private participation soon. The branding partners have entered into three year contract with Rapid Rail. The private players have painted the station with their theme colours and used the station space for their brand promotion.
The Phase II of the Rapid Rail will cover 6.5 kms and is expected to be completed by 2016.
The official inauguration of the Rapid Metro will happen in the coming weeks. In the meanwhile the officials did not want the operations to be delayed for official inauguration.