The Chennai Mass Rapid Transit System, a state-owned subsidiary of Indian Railways, is a metropolitan elevated railway lineoperated by Southern Railway. It is the first elevated railway line in India.
Although it is segregated from the Chennai Suburban Railway, they both are operated by Southern Railway and are integrated in a wider rapid transit network. Built at a cost of ₹ 11,710 million, the line runs within the city limits from Chennai Beach to Velachery, covering a distance of 19.34 km (12.02 mi) with 17 stations, with an average daily ridership of 76,800 passengers. Connecting the central business area of old Madras with the IT corridor, the section has a potential capacity of 425,000 passengers a day. In 2011–2012, MRTS registered a revenue of ₹ 198.9 million, registering a 16.25 percent increase, with 134 trains plying across all the 17 stations.
The Chennai Metro project, currently under construction, is expected to improve transit access in the city and will connect with the Chennai MRTS. To maximise its potential, the MRTS is being extended to St. Thomas Mount, and its operations may be transferred over to the Chennai Metro when it opens in 2015.
Fares and ticketing
The fare structure of the Chennai MRTS is integrated with that of the Chennai Suburban Railway, as both are operated by the Southern Railways. Unlike most rapid transit systems, and like the Chennai Suburban Railway, the Chennai MRTS maintains first-class passenger seating and does not have air-conditioned coaches. First-class travel is only available aboard 9-car trains.
In addition to the fare scheme listed in the table, which is meant for one-time ticketed travel, the Southern Railways has monthly tickets and quarterly season tickets scheme for more frequent travellers.