/Noida, Nov 13 (IANS) The opening of Delhi Metro's Noida line Friday was welcomed by thousands of residents of east Delhi and Noida. Ticket counters stayed busy all day and packed trains ferried people to and from from the suburb, many of whom were happy to bid adieu to a harrowing bus ride in exchange for the smooth, quick metro ride.
Office-goers and young students were overjoyed that the Metro had finally reached after months of delays owing to safety audits.
'The Metro rail connection is going to go a long way in mitigating the woes of the Noida residents in reaching Delhi. I am very thrilled about it,' said Abhimanyu Yadav, 23, a management student.
Akhilesh Singh, a salesman working in Connaught Place, said his travel from Noida sector 18 would become much easier. 'It used to be difficult for me to go from Noida's Sector 18 to Rajiv Chowk where I work. Now it is going to be much easier,' he said.
The Yamuna Bank-Noida City Centre Metro is an elevated stretch and has 10 stations. This east Delhi segment was integrated with the existing line towards Dwarka Sector-9 in southwest Delhi. Prominent stations include Akshardham Temple, two stations in Mayur Vihar, Noida Sector 15, Sector 16, Sector 18 and NOIDA City Centre at sector 32.
Commuters from the last stop - Noida's city centre - can land right in the heart of the capital at Connaught Place's Rajiv Chowk Station in a mere 36 minutes.
The DMRC estimates that 53,000 passengers will be added to its daily number of 900,000 commuters. As counters opened Friday morning, there were queues right from the start and till the evening.
Rahul Kumar, an insurance agent living in Noida, said he had looked forward to the opening of the Noida line since he wasted hours travelling by three buses to reach southwest and central Delhi.
'I don't have to now spend three hours a day in going and coming back from my work place and consequently, I can utilise that time in preparing for civil services exams,' he said.
Although most were happy with the service, some were irked by the Delhi Metro's decision to hike fares.
'Although the Metro Link would significantly reduce road traffic woes, I feel the fares should have been more generous. The fares are now pretty expensive in view of the latest hike,' Shiv Narayan Chauhan, 65, a retired bank employee in Noida, said.
Although the station's interiors and commercial spaces are not ready yet, commuters don't mind.
'I don't care if the stations look undone. As long as the Metro ride is comfortable, what do I care,' said Mayank Gupta, who took the train from the Akshardham Metro station where most people complained of a massive rush.
For others, taking the Metro was a matter of convenience on a cold day.
'I am not a regular Metro user since my work is in Noida near home. Since I had to catch a train to Kolkata from the New Delhi railway station I took the Metro otherwise I would to take an autorickshaw and get frozen on a cold day like today,' said Amitesh, a software engineer.