Thursday, Oct 23, 2014

Day Two of Monorail: Heavy rush again, frequency better

The rush on the first day. (Express) The rush on the first day. (Express)
Express News Service | Mumbai | Posted: February 4, 2014 6:05 am | Updated: February 6, 2014 11:26 am

As on the first day, the second day of full commercial operations of the country’s first monorail was also a very busy one with many who could not take a ride on the first day having come back on Monday.

A total of 19,600 passengers purchased tickets and enjoyed the ride on the second day, with the fare box collection being more than Rs 2 lakh, as per data provided by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the implementing agency for the monorail in Mumbai. The number was consistent with the turnout on the first day, which saw 19,678 passengers.

However, unlike the first day when officials of Scomi Engineering had a difficult time managing the crowd and maintaining frequency of operations, crowd management on Monday was much better. Malaysia’s Scomi Engineering is in charge of operating the monorail, while Larsen & Toubro was in charge of the civil construction.

With 64 trips, operations were at an average frequency of one train every 7-8 minutes, as compared to one train in 12-13 minutes on an average on Sunday. On the first day of operations, the crowd had soared to such an extent by afternoon that the frequency had slipped to one train every 20-30 minutes. The MMRDA had originally decided to maintain a frequency of one train every 15 minutes.

The first train left at 7 am, while operations went on till 3.15 pm against the scheduled 3 pm in order to clear the number of passengers who had already purchased tickets. On the first day of operations, the service had to be extended till 4.30 pm.
However, because of huge rush even on the second day, many had to be refused entry. The MMRDA closed entry to stations at 2.40 pm in order to clear the crowd that was already inside the stations.

“We are glad that monorail services have evoked overwhelming response from Mumbaikars on the second day. We are sure they will get some relief from their commuting woes,” said Dilip Kawathkar, MMRDA spokesperson.

The country’s first monorail, an 8.8-km corridor from Chembur to Wadala, was inaugurated on Saturday, while commercial operations started on Sunday. The monorail is the first phase of the larger Chembur-Wadala-Jacob Circle monorail corridor.

mumbai.newsline@expressindia.com

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