New Delhi’s metro: Where lineups are a pleasure

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By:   http://www.thestar.com

Commuters on New Delhi’s metro face long lineups and airport-style security checks but it’s still better than battling the city’s traffic. 

Except at metro stations.

Metro is the Indian capital’s mass rapid transit system, a network of six subway lines covering a total length of about 190 kilometres, with 142 stations. Hundreds and thousands of commuters use it every day.

(On Aug. 19, about 2.6 million took the metro, the highest number ever.)

But this is the really staggering part: those vast numbers who take the metro every day stand in lineups and go through airport-style security checks just to get into a station — any station.

The stations are considered prime terrorist targets and have always had high security.

Before commuters go through the turnstile, there are metal detectors and pat-downs by paramilitary officers, as bags go through an x-ray machine. There’s a separate line for men and women.

It can take up to 30 minutes just to enter a station on weekdays, especially in Old Delhi; add another 20 minutes during the office rush hour.

Even on a weekend, it usually takes about 15 minutes to get inside. More info