Ahmedabad Metro: Carving a path of convenience and connectivity

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Ahmedabad Metro
Ahmedabad Metro
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Ahmedabad, the vibrant city of Gujarat, saw the development of its rapid transit dream in February 2010 with the establishment of the Gujarat Metro Rail Corporation Limited. The ambitious project, christened Ahmedabad Metro, aimed to weave a web of swift and efficient connections across the city and its neighbouring Gandhinagar. Phase-1, approved in 2013, envisioned two corridors – North-South and East-West – spanning 40.03 km. Construction commenced in March 2015, and the first ride of the Metro came in March 2019 with the inauguration of a 6.5 km section of the East-West corridor. The remaining sections of Phase-1 followed suit in September 2022, except the Thaltej Gam end and three stations. By October 2022, the Metro was fully operational, offering a convenient alternative to navigate the bustling city.

Phase 2, initiated in January 2021, extends the Metro’s reach further, connecting Ahmedabad with Gandhinagar through a 28.26 km corridor. This phase also includes a branch line to GIFT City, which is expected to be operational by early 2024. Ahmedabad Metro is more than just a transportation system; it symbolises progress and connectivity. It’s weaving together the city’s vibrant neighbourhoods, offering a glimpse into a future where commuting is efficient, sustainable, and enjoyable. As the network expands, so does the potential to transform how people move around, live, and work in Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar.

Historical Overview

The Gujarat Infrastructure Development Board (GIDB) initiated a study for urban transport between Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad in 2003. This study led to the preparation of a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for a Metro Rail System in these cities, carried out through collaboration with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and RITES. The DPR was submitted in June 2005 and received approval from the central government in the same year.

However, due to cost considerations and a focus on other transportation projects, such as the Ahmedabad BRTS and suburban railways, the project was abandoned in 2005. The project was revived in 2008, recognizing the need for future development in the region. New corridors were designed to ensure its viability. To execute this project, the Government of Gujarat established a special-purpose vehicle company called Metro Link Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad Company Ltd. in 2018, the company was renamed the Gujarat Metro Rail Corporation Limited (GMRC). Initially capitalized with Rs. 202 crores, it was later decided in 2014 that the central government would hold a fifty per cent stake in the company.

Phase-1

Phase 1 of the project received approval from the central government in October 2014, with a budget allocation of Rs. 10,773 crore. In November 2014, the central government gave the green light for the utilization of vacant land of the Western Railways along the Botad-Sabarmati meter gauge line. The initial plan, which involved the Metro running along Ashram Road, was later modified, shifting the track towards the west. Although increasing the cost by Rs. 600 crore, this revised plan and adding two more stations resulted in fewer land acquisition issues and reduced traffic congestion on Ashram Road. In the 2015 Gujarat budget, an additional Rs. 611 crore was earmarked for the metro project.

On 14th March 2015, a ground-breaking ceremony took place to construct the 6.5 km Vastral – Apparel Park section of the East–West corridor. The then-chief minister of Gujarat, Anandiben Patel, attended this event. Another significant event, the commencement of the North-South Corridor, was marked with a ceremony on 17th January 2016, also graced by Anandiben Patel. The construction work for this project began in March 2016. In June 2016, the railways permitted the North–South corridor stretch on its land. The Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) pledged to fund Rs. 5,968 crore for Phase 1 of the project in November 2015. The first instalment of this funding, amounting to Rs. 4,456 crores, was disbursed in 2016.

In February 2019, trial runs commenced on the 6.5 km Vastral – Apparel Park section of Phase-1. This section was officially inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 4 March 2019 and was opened to the public two days later, on 6 March 2019. The Thaltej-Thaltej Gam stretch, which is 1.4 km long, along with three metro stations – Kankaria East, Thaltej Gam, and Sabarmati, had been slated for completion by December last year. Prime Minister Modi inaugurated the remaining part of Phase-1 on 30th September 2022. The east–west and north–south corridors were subsequently opened to the public on 2nd October 2022 and 6th October 2022, respectively. The total expenditure for the construction of Phase 1 amounted to Rs. 12,900 crore.

Phase – 2

Phase 2 of the project received approval from the government of Gujarat in October 2017 and underwent revisions in October 2018. The union cabinet gave its nod to Phase 2, valued at Rs. 5,384.17 crore, in February 2019. This phase will see the north–south corridor extending from Motera in Ahmedabad to Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar, spanning 23.838 km. Additionally, a branch line from the Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) will connect Pandit Deendayal Energy University (PDEU) and GIFT City, covering 5.416 km. The total length of the elevated corridor in Phase 2 will be 28.26 km, featuring 22 stations. The tender process for Phase 2 started in January 2020. Prime Minister Modi laid the foundation stone for this phase on 18th January 2021. The branch line leading to GIFT City will be operational by early 2024. In February 2023, Titagarh Rail Systems secured a contract worth Rs. 350 crore to supply rolling stock for Phase 2. Although the trial run for Phase 2 was scheduled to begin in June 2023, it has not started yet.

Blue Line

The Blue Line of the Ahmedabad Metro is the city’s first underground rapid transit system, carving a 21.23 km path through the heart of Ahmedabad. Spanning 18 stations (two currently under construction), it stretches from Vastral Gam in the north to Thaltej Gam in the south, offering a convenient and elevated city perspective for commuters.

The Blue Line’s journey began in 2015 with a groundbreaking ceremony for the initial 6.5 km stretch from Vastral to Apparel Park, marked by the presence of Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel. Construction work officially commenced in March 2016; by February 2019, trial runs were underway on this section. The grand inauguration followed on March 4, 2019, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, and Deputy Chief Minister Nitinbhai Patel gracing the occasion.

The Blue Line’s significance goes beyond mere transportation. It symbolizes Ahmedabad’s commitment to modernizing its infrastructure and providing its residents a faster, more efficient, and eco-friendly way to navigate the city. The elevated tracks offer scenic vistas and help ease congestion on the ground below. As the remaining two stations are near completion, the Blue Line promises to enhance connectivity further and contribute to a more vibrant and sustainable Ahmedabad.

The first operational corridor of the Ahmedabad Metro, the Blue Line, opened its doors to the public on March 6th, 2019, offering a swift and convenient way to navigate the city. While the initial phase covered a 6.5 km stretch, Prime Minister Modi officially inaugurated the rest of the line, spanning 21.23 km, on September 30th, 2022. However, the journey isn’t quite over yet.

The final leg, a 1.4 km section extending to Thaltej Gam and encompassing two additional stations, Thaltej Gam and Kankaria East, is expected to be completed soon. This final touch will further enhance Blue Line’s significance connecting Vastral Gam to Thaltej Gam through 18 stations. The Blue Line encompasses a diverse system of elevated and underground sections. While most of its journey takes place above the bustle of the city, four stations – Apparel Park, Kalupur Railway Station, Gheekanta, and Shahpur – dive deep, reaching 22 meters below ground at their lowest point near Gheekanta. The remaining underground stations, nestled 12-14 meters below the surface, offer a glimpse into the city’s hidden depths.

Old High Court station is a vital interchange point, allowing seamless transfers between the Blue Line and the upcoming Red Line. This connectivity promises to enhance the network’s efficiency further and reach.

The Blue Line’s opening day was a resounding success. With over 41,700 tickets sold and 72 trips completed, it quickly became a popular choice for commuters. The enthusiasm continued the next day, with 17,000 passengers taking advantage of its swift and comfortable rides. As the Blue Line expands, it promises to become the lifeblood of Ahmedabad’s transportation system, connecting communities, reducing traffic congestion, and offering a greener alternative for city travel. Its journey, from inauguration to expansion, is a testament to the city’s commitment to progress and a glimpse into a future where efficient and sustainable transportation takes centre stage.

Stations

Eighteen stations are proposed to be constructed on the route, with four stations underground and the rest elevated. The details are as under:

Sr. No.Station NameLayout
01Thaltej GamElevated
02ThaltejElevated
03Doordarshan KendraElevated
04Gurukul RoadElevated
05Gujarat UniversityElevated
06Commerce Six RoadElevated
07SP StadiumElevated
08Old High CourtElevated
09ShahpurUnderground
10GheekantaUnderground
11Kalupur Railway StationUnderground
12Kankaria EastUnderground
13Apparel ParkElevated
14AmraiwadiElevated
15Rabari ColonyElevated
16VastralElevated
17Nirant Cross RoadElevated
18Vastral GamElevated

Operations, Network & Route Length

The Metro saw a dramatic surge in ridership following the opening of Phase 1 in September 2022. The following year, over 186 million people hopped aboard the sleek trains, with an average of 90,000 daily riders on regular days and 75,000 on holidays. Even on less bustling days, the Metro still carried 51,000 passengers. This surge in popularity translated into financial success, with ticket sales generating Rs. 28 crore within the same period.

The success of Phase 1 has undoubtedly fuelled excitement for the future of the Metro. With further expansion plans underway, one can only imagine the network’s potential to revolutionize how people move around Ahmedabad.

LinePhase-1Phase-2Total Length
Blue Line21.16 km21.16 km
Red LineMain Line18.87 km22.84 km41.71 km
Branch Line5.42 km5.42 km
Total Length40.03 km28.26 km68.29 km

Current Status

LineFirst OperationalLast ExtensionNumber of operational stationsOperational length
Blue Line4 March 201930 September 202216 (except Thaltej Gam and Kankaria East)19.76 km
Red Line30 September 2022N/A14 (except Sabarmati Railway station)18.87 km
Total29 (with Old High Court interchange)38.63 km

Project Specifications & Key Information

Ahmedabad, the bustling commercial hub of Gujarat, and Gandhinagar, the state’s capital, are set to be connected by a sophisticated urban Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) known as the Ahmedabad Metro. This ambitious project, spearheaded by the Gujarat Metro Rail Corporation (GMRC), promises to revolutionize transportation in the region, bringing many benefits to both cities.

Construction work on Ahmedabad Metro’s Phase 1 began in 2015, encompassing two crucial corridors spanning 39.259 km. The initial phase saw the inauguration of a 6 km section of Line-1 in March 2019, offering a glimpse into the Metro’s potential. By September 30, 2022, most of Phase 1 became operational, except a 1.4 km stretch. This partial opening provided commuters a convenient and efficient way to navigate Ahmedabad’s bustling streets.

With Phase 1 successfully underway, the focus shifted to Phase 2 in February 2016. The Gujarat state government allocated Rs 2 crore to prepare the Detailed Project Report (DPR) and entrusted the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) with this critical task. The draft DPR charted the 18.522 km Line-2 extension course, aiming to connect Ahmedabad with Gandhinagar’s Mahatma Mandir. Additionally, branch/spur lines to GIFT City were envisioned, further enhancing the network’s reach.

February 2019 marked a significant milestone as the union cabinet approved the construction of a 28.254 km Phase 2. This phase comprised two crucial corridors: a northward extension of Line-2 with a short spur and an additional corridor connecting Ahmedabad with Gandhinagar. Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for Phase 2 in March 2019, signifying the project’s importance for the region’s development. Plans include adding a roughly 5 km line connecting Koteshwar Road with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport. This proposed spur, if materialized, would further bolster the Metro’s reach and convenience.

A Boon for Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar

The Ahmedabad Metro is more than just a transportation system; it symbolises progress and connectivity. By weaving together these two vibrant cities, the Metro promises to:

  • Reduce traffic congestion: With a reliable and efficient alternative, the Metro is expected to ease the burden on Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar’s roads, leading to smoother traffic flow and reduced travel times.
  • Boost economic growth: Improved connectivity will likely attract businesses and investments, fostering economic growth and creating new job opportunities in both cities.
  • Enhance quality of life: Reduced pollution and congestion will contribute to a cleaner and healthier environment, improving residents’ overall quality of life.

As the Ahmedabad Metro continues to expand, it has the potential to transform the way people live, work, and travel in Gujarat. By providing a sustainable and efficient transportation system, the Metro paves the way for a brighter future for both Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar. The key information of the project is as follows:

  • Operational: 37.86 km (Phase 1)
  • Under Construction: 29.65 km (Phase 1, Phase 2)
  • Proposed: 5 km
  • Daily Ridership: 90,000/day (March 2023)
  • Rolling Stock: 96 coaches (32 train sets x 3) supplied by Hyundai Rotem
  • Top Speed: 80 kmph
  • Average Speed: 33 kmph
  • Track Gauge: Standard Gauge (1435 mm)
  • Electrification: 750 V DC Third Rail
  • Signalling: Communication-based Train Control (CBTC)

Operational Lines (Phase 1)

  • Line-1 (Blue Line): Vastral Gam – Thaltej (19.38 km, 16 stations)
  • Line-2 (Red Line): Motera – APMC (18.522 km, 16 stations)

Under Construction Lines (Phase 1, Phase 2)

  • Line-1 (Blue Line): Thaltej – Thaltej Gam (1.4 km, 1 station)
  • Line-2 (Red Line): Motera – GNLU – Mahatma Mandir (22.01 km, 13 stations)
  • Line-3 (Eastern Spur of Line-2): Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) – GIFT City (5.416 km, 2 stations)

Summary

Ahmedabad Metro, designed for swift and effortless travel, is currently operational within the city limits, connecting passengers to key destinations. But its ambitions stretch beyond, aiming to connect the urban hub of Gandhinagar and the modern metropolis of GIFT City in the near future. Ranked amongst India’s top eight metro systems, Ahmedabad Metro boasts ambitious expansion plans. Phase 1, already partially operational, envisioned two lines with 32 stations, while Phase 2 promises another two lines with 22. This intricate network aims to combat traffic congestion and offer commuters a convenient, affordable, and safe travel solution. Metro smart cards offer attractive discounts, further incentivizing commuters to embrace this eco-friendly alternative.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s inauguration of Phase 1 in September 2022 marked a significant milestone. His journey from Gandhinagar Station on the brand-new Vande Bharat Express 2.0 train to Kalupur Station in Ahmedabad symbolized the project’s potential to bridge distances. Following the inauguration, the state urban development department swiftly swung into action. Recognizing the transformative power of metro connectivity, they initiated an action plan to explore extending the network to other parts of Ahmedabad. The Prime Minister himself directed officials to prioritize metro access for outlying areas. Mapping services were commissioned to identify potential routes in the eastern and western parts of the city, with areas like SG Road and SP Road emerging as promising candidates for future expansion.

Commercial operations for the North-South corridor, a fully elevated line spanning 18.87 km, commenced on October 6th, 2022. This popular corridor serves as a testament to the metro’s commitment to improving urban mobility and enhancing the lives of Ahmedabad’s residents. As Ahmedabad Metro embarks on its ambitious expansion plans, it promises to transform the city’s landscape. By weaving a web of efficient connections, it will not only ease traffic woes but also unlock economic growth and enhance its citizens’ overall quality of life. The journey has just begun, and the future of Ahmedabad looks bright, fueled by the convenience and connectivity of its ever-growing metro network.

New Heights

With the launch of the Ahmedabad metro, India’s metro network has exceeded Japan’s operational metro network length. The total extent of India’s metro rail has reached more than 800 Kms. Beyond the operational network, India has nearly a thousand kilometres of metro rail under construction. Once completed, India will surpass South Korea and the USA in the route length.

On 2nd October, a 21-km stretch of the Ahmedabad Metro project, with 17 stations between Thaltej and Vastral, was opened to the public. According to the Gujarat Metro Rail Corporation (GMRC), the project includes a 6.6 km underground section with four stations. On 4 March 2019, the Prime Minister inaugurated a segment of phase 1, linking Vastral to Apparel Park, covering a distance of 6.5 km. The Metro Rail project received approval in 2014. Phase 2 of the project will extend from Gandhinagar (the state capital) to Ahmedabad, primarily expanding Phase 1. It is anticipated to consist of two corridors – one from Motera Stadium to Mahatma Mandir (a 22.8-km stretch with 20 stations) and the other from Gujarat National Law University to GIFT City (a 5.4-km route with two stations).

The complete route under phase 2 of the project will be elevated. Phase – 1 is supposed to run for 40.03 km, and Phase – 2 is supposed to run for 28.26 km. A part of Phase – 1, comprising 6 stations, has already been constructed and is now operational. The remaining part of Phase – 1 and all of Phase – 2 are still under construction. A Blue Line identifies the East-West Corridor of the Ahmedabad Metro route, the North-South Corridor is identified with a Red Line, and the GNLU-GIFT City Branch is identified with a Purple Line.  The Ahmedabad Metro Rail Project is managed by the GMRC (Gujarat Metro Rail Corporation). A government initiative was taken to develop the Metro in Gujarat, and thus, GMRC was formed to oversee the construction of the metro rail in Gujarat. 

Route History

Ahmedabad Metro, which already offers commuting facilities to metro travellers, currently operates through six stations on the East-West Corridor. This 6.53 km underground stretch, running between Vastral Gam and Apparel Park, has been operational since March 6th, 2019. The remainder of Phase 1, eagerly awaited by commuters, is on track for completion, further expanding the network and its reach.

But Ahmedabad Metro’s vision extends beyond Phase 1. Construction for Phase 2 commenced in January 2021, promising even greater connectivity. One fascinating aspect is the line connecting Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) to the modern GIFT city, which is slated to be operational in early 2024. This link will benefit students and professionals and foster economic growth and collaboration between the hubs.

Speeding towards a future of seamless travel, the operational Metro trains and those soon to join the fleet boast an average speed of 33 km/h and a top speed of 80 km/h. This efficiency is further enhanced by the 1435 mm (4 feet 8 inches) track gauge and 750 V DC Third rail electrification system, ensuring smooth and reliable operations.

Ahmedabad Metro is more than just a network of trains; it’s a symbol of progress and a promise of a better future for the city. It’s poised to transform how people live, work, and travel in Ahmedabad by tackling traffic congestion, promoting sustainable transportation, and connecting key destinations. With each phase completed, the city moves closer to a future woven with convenience, efficiency, and endless possibilities.

Metro Station Construction Updates

The Kankaria East underground station, nestled on the East-West corridor stretching from Thaltej to Vastral, is gearing up for an operational debut by February 2024. The recent inspection by the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) is a crucial step towards its launch, with the report due shortly. Joining Kankaria East on the path to completion are Thaltej Gam and Sabarmati stations. Situated close to the bullet train and Ramnagar railway station, connecting passengers to North India, Sabarmati is nearly ready to open its doors. Once the final touches are complete, CMRS will return for another inspection, paving the way for its operation.

While Kankaria East and Sabarmati stations inch closer to reality, Thaltej Gam might take a little longer. Its integration might be more in sync with the second phase, extending the network to Gandhinagar. For nature enthusiasts and picnickers, Kankaria East station holds much promise. Its strategic location near Kankaria Lake anticipates bustling footfall, especially on weekends and holidays. Imagine a convenient Metro ride followed by a serene lakeside stroll – a perfect recipe for rejuvenation!

Ahmedabad Metro’s expansion reflects a commitment to efficient and sustainable transportation. By adding these stations, the network not only eases traffic congestion but also connects key destinations, enhancing the city’s vibrancy and convenience. Kankaria East, a bright spark amidst this growth, promises a gateway to leisure and relaxation, adding a new dimension to the Metro’s impact. As construction progresses and inspections pave the way, Ahmedabad eagerly awaits the day these stations become operational. Each new stop signifies a step forward, weaving a web of connectivity and progress that promises to transform the city’s landscape, one station at a time.

Ridership, fare and other details

On October 14, 2023, the Ahmedabad Metro witnessed its highest daily ridership with approximately 1,13,000 passengers. This surge coincided with the India-Pakistan cricket match at the Narendra Modi Stadium. Since the start of commercial operations in October 2022, the previous daily ridership record was 107,552, set on May 28, 2023, during an IPL match. The metro typically transports around 75,000 passengers daily, generating a ticket revenue of Rs 11 lakh to Rs 12 lakh. However, on October 14, the ticket revenue soared to Rs 20.3 lakh. To meet the increased demand, the number of metro trips was raised from 313 to 383, with an average of 290 passengers per trip, compared to the usual average of about 220 passengers.

As the Ahmedabad Metro route is still largely under construction, metro officials have proposed an estimated fare structure. The fare for the first 2.5 km on the Ahmedabad Metro route would be INR 5; for up to 7.5 km, the fare will be INR 10. The fare for the initial 6.5 km stretch from Vastral Gam Metro Station to Apparel Park Metro Station will be INR 10. The 21 km stretch from Vastral Gam to Thaltej, the Ahmedabad Metro fare will range between INR 5 and INR 15. The metro fare for the first three metro stations is INR 5, and the smart card fare is INR 4.5. After three stations, the metro fare increases to INR 10, and the smart card fare is INR 9. Any updates or changes regarding the Ahmedabad Metro fare can be found at the metro stations, displayed in an easy-to-understand format.

Smart Card

Passengers on the metro route can acquire an intelligent card at any functioning station by paying INR 100, which includes INR 50 as a security deposit and INR 50 as stored value. This can be done using cash or a debit/credit card. The smart card can be topped up multiple times, from INR 50 to a maximum of INR 3000. Passengers can recharge their smart cards at any operational Ahmedabad Metro Station using the Ticket Vending Machine (TVM) and Recharge Card Machine (RCM). The validity of the Smart Cards is five years, contingent on the date of the last recharge.


Intrigued by the future of Metro and its impact on our city? Join us at our upcoming InnoMetro event to delve deeper into this vital issue. Stay informed, get involved, and let’s ride the Metro towards a brighter, more sustainable future together.

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