As the nation's much-awaited first metro rail is scheduled to start operation partially in the city (Uttara-Agargaon segment) on Wednesday, Mariam Afiza will emerge as the first metro train operator of the Mass Rapid Transit line-6.
Six women were appointed as metro rail operators among others and Dhaka Mass Transit Company has already completed their training.
Afiza has completed her master's degree from Noakhali Science and Technology University in Chemistry. She was appointed as an operator of metro rail on November 2 last year.
“She received a two-month training at Bangladesh Railway Training Academy in Chattogram’s Halishahar. She returned to Dhaka and completed another four months of training,” said MAN Siddique, Managing Director of Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL).
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“Now she is taking technical and practical training at the metro rail depot in Uttara’s Diabari. She received training round the year,” he continued.
Experts of metro rail construction company Mitsubishi-Kawasaki of Japan are also giving training to the operators on technical and practical issues at the metro rail depot in Uttara’s Diabari, he added.
MAN Siddique also told UNB that Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation(BRTC) will operate 50 double-decker buses to transport passengers to and from metro stations.
BRTC signed an agreement with Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL) in this regard recently.
BRTC will provide bus service from Diabaria-Uttara House Building and Motijheel-Agargaon, he said.
In the first phase, a limited number of trains carrying fewer passengers will operate for a short period in the morning and afternoon and the speed will be slower than usual for three months, as a period to get accustomed, said Siddique.
The trains will wait for a bit longer than usual at the station at first to help passengers become accustomed with the new seating and ticketing system. With the increase in the number of trains the train will wait for less time at stations cutting the travel time, he added.
In the beginning, the train will not stop at all stations. The train will leave the Uttara station and stop at Pallabi, and then it will go to Agargaon without stopping. Stopping of trains at intermediate stations will start later, he said.
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Up to 17,000 passengers can travel daily initially, said DMTCL, and they can easily travel standing in the 9.5 feet wide space between the seats at both sides.
According to a Revised Strategic Transport Plan (RSTP), DMTCL plans to introduce six metro rail routes in Dhaka by 2030, with a total length of 128.74km serving a network of 104 stations -53 underground and 51 elevated. Construction on the six metro rail lines is underway accordingly.
The MRT police unit will be formed to ensure the security of the entire network in future, when upto 5 million passengers will use the service every day.