As Mumbai waits for the launch of the Phase II of the monorail, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is yet to completely iron out the issues with Phase I. More than two years later, ticket vending machines on the Wadala-Chembur line are yet to be made fully operational.
While these machines have been installed in all stations on the 9-km line, commuters cannot use them as they do not accept coins. With tickets priced at Rs 5, 7, 9 and 11, it is impossible to buy a ticket without inserting a coin. This renders the machines useless and everyone has to line up at the ticket counters to buy them.
“This issue has been there since the monorail began operations in 2014. Due to some technical glitch, it can accept only notes and not coins. Many commuters complain about it, but since the queues aren’t too long at the counters, they buy tickets from there,” said a staff at Wadala.
However, once the corridor between Wadala and Jacob Circle opens later this year, the footfall is expected to rise, and it may prove to be difficult to serve commuters from the counters alone. Each of the seven stations between Chembur and Wadala Depot has at least two ticket vending machines.
The machines have a slot for notes and another for coins, but the coin slot is taped shut.
“I tried to use the machine once while travelling from Chembur to Wadala but I realised the coin slot is shut. A staff directed me to the counter saying the machine does not work. But if it cannot accept the coin why keep the machine running?,” said Ashlesha Sharma, a commuter who occasionally uses the monorail.
“Every denomination has coins in different sizes and the slot is unable to accept coins of different sizes. People should have the option to purchase tickets from the machines also. We will look into this matter and see if we can bring about any modifications in the machine,” said a senior MMRDA official.