With a ridership of over 26,000 commuters per kilometre daily, Mumbai’s first Metro in its one year of operation has already become the eighth most dense Metro rail corridor in the world, shows data collected by the Metro operator.
In the one year that it has been in operation, 9.2 crore commuters have used the elevated Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro, which was thrown open to public on June 8 last year. Till May end, the Metro line had run 13 lakh kilometres, having made 1.12 lakh trips. The corridor, which at present operates with a Rs 10-40 tariff, was launched on a highly controversial note last year with the state government and the Reliance Infrastructure-led Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL) in a tussle over the fare structure of the project, implemented on a public-private partnership basis.
According to MMOPL data, the density on the 11.4-km Metro, with about 2.5 lakh passengers a day, is more than that on the Hong Kong MTR Metro and the Manila Metro Rail Transit System. The Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar has an average daily ridership of 26,316 per kilometre as against 25,744 on the Manila Metro and 25,092 on the Hong Kong Metro.
According to MMOPL’s information, the 4.1-km Minatomirai Line in Japan’s Yokohama is the world’s densest Metro rail corridor with an average per kilometre daily ridership of 1.07 lakh commuters, followed by the 7.6-km Kobe Rapid Transit Railway in Japan and the 195.1-km Tokyo Metro.
Abhay Kumar Mishra, chief executive at MMOPL, said, “In the next three to four years, the Metro can be among the top three densest Metro corridors. Accommodating a surge in ridership will not be difficult as the Metro has been constructed with a maximum capacity of 11 lakh commuters.”
The MMOPL, which had constructed and now operates the Metro, has engaged about 900 employees in assisting commuters and managing crowd.
The consortium spends about Rs 1 crore per day, equally divided between operating and maintaining the Metro and servicing loans for the project, the cost of which escalated to Rs 4,321 crore from the original Rs 2,356 crore. With about 55 per cent of commuters using smart cards, the Metro’s fare box collection is aboutRs 10 crore every month on an average.
MMOPL looks to enhance non-fare revenue
The MMOPL has put proposals before the government-appointed Fare Fixation Committee, which is at present reviewing the Metro tariff, to increase the non-fare revenue of the Metro system. Enhancing the non-fare revenue, which refers to earnings from activities apart from ticketing, could help lower Metro tariff. “We are looking at increasing non-fare revenue and have made proposals to the Fare Fixation Committee for the same,” Mishra said.
At present, only about 8 per cent of MMOPL’s total revenue comes from advertising and commercial use of spaces. According to MMOPL, the company has earned Rs 5.6 crore from the sale, lease and renting of stalls at Metro stations.