Metro stations offer healthy beverage choices

Akshara Srivastava, Bharat Sharma

Chennai, Feb 15: Orange juice vending machines have started showing up at metro stations across the city, as part of Chennai Metro Rail Corporation’s (CMRL) efforts to make station food and beverage offerings diverse and healthier.

O. Jooz, at the Corporation’s ambitious machine squeezes fresh juice with no human intervention in less than 40 seconds.

At Rs. 100 a glass, it is not the cheapest alternative. However, unlike most vendors who use traditional juicers and fruit concentrate, the machine is entirely waste-free and has no additives.

A fairly new technology, it is the first of its kind in India and is imported from Singapore.

The vending machine cum juicer is designed to allow a transparent view of the juicing process. From skinning to squeezing, one can witness every step of the preparation.

According to Karuppusamy Andi, who works for O. Jooz, there are currently 20 juice machines across the Metro line.”These machines are located at stations like Central and Vadapalani. The feedback has been positive so we are looking to expand slowly but surely”, he said. The machines are washed and topped up every day.

The juice remains consumable if stored between 3-6 degree Celsius. It has no added sugar or preservatives, which is usually the case with packaged juices.

An O.Jooz kiosk at Chennai Central.

According to Rathinam Devendrar a daily Metro commuter, the machine has eradicated his dependence on carbonated cola drinks. “I drink this juice every day. It is a little pricey, but better than Pepsi which is simply unhealthy… It refreshes me but also makes me feel healthy…”, he said.

The Chennai Metro Rail Corporation (CMRL) has vending machines that sell carbonated drinks at every platform. However, this venture is part of its attempts to make stations offer instant healthy beverage alternatives.

Shruthi, Assistant Public Relations Manager, CMRL claimed that more healthy options will start showing up at stations soon. “This is just the start. Soon, one will be able to find mega chains like Subway and local chains like A2B at stations… However, we prefer more mechanised options… whereby vending machine technology is utilised to the max”, she said. They’re in talks to procure coconut water and salad vending machines soon.

Lags continue to decelerate Chennai Metro

Chennai Metro tackles lag and signal issues amidst a growing network

Akshara Srivastva, Bharat Sharma

Chennai, Feb 15: The Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) has been experiencing frequent lags and glitches since its inception.  

“The Metro here is slow in terms of frequency and also gets delayed often. It is particularly annoying when I’m rushing to office in the morning and the network is experiencing technical issues, causing delay,” said Ravina Subramaniam, who uses the blue line every day.

On Monday, February 11, the rail services on the blue line were disrupted due to an overhead cable tripping between Saidapet and Little Mount stations.
Services came to a screeching halt, and passengers were forced to de-board and walk alongside tracks to reach the Meenambakkam station.

Siemens provides equipment for overhead and power supply, the signalling software, and the passenger information display system.
“Siemens is providing all necessary support to Chennai Metro Rail Limited to ensure that there are no interruptions and delays to the train operations,” according to a  report in The Hindu

“The glitch was temporary and was resolved soon,” said Shruthi, Assistant Public Relations Manager, CMRL.

The passengers were offered free rides on Monday and the next day to compensate for the hassle. Stations saw huge crowds as citizens thronged to avail the free services. The glitch was resolved by 1 p.m.

The network also experiences signal problems frequently, delaying office-goers and school going children.

Many have taken to social media to express their frustrations with the metro services.

CMRL introduces shuttle services to connect IT parks


CMRL shuttle service vehicle waiting for passengers at the Alandur Metro railway station | JAYAKUMAR MADALA

CHENNAI:  The Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) on Wednesday launched “Office Ride”, a shuttle service between the Alandur Metro railway station to different Information Technology (IT) parks around the vicinity to facilitate corporate employees.

The shuttle service, which intends to improve the last mile connectivity of metro services, will connect Ascendas IT Park, Global Info City, SIPCOT, ELCOT and RMZ Business Park to the Alandur metro station. Services are planned between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

“The service can be availed by booking through mobile application, Office Ride. Once the seat is booked through it, the vehicle is allotted based on the number of bookings”, said, Pandian, Public Relations Officer, CMRL.

He added, “The shuttle buses will have air conditioning and Wi-Fi facilities. The users will be charged approximately Rs.50 per ride. They need not pay cash and can remit digital payments – internet banking, digital wallets, debit and credit cards”.

Although inaugurated, the services are yet to be open to the public.

Pon Abinaya (25), an employee at a private company at Ascendas IT Park said, “Every day I catch a share auto to reach my office, instead a punctual and regular service could reduce the burden of looking for a means to reach my office”.

A CMRL release added that the shuttle service will be expanded to various other metro stations based on crowd-sourced route suggestions.

The Office ride shuttle services are launched in collaboration with Ford Motor Company and are the second of this kind, after the introduction of CMRL Feeder Service, which was introduced last August to connect various neighbourhoods around metro stations.