On the second day of its commercial operation, the second phase of the Mumbai Monorail saw fewer commuters. A total of 20,583 people took the monorail on the route on Tuesday — incidentally the first working day of the week as Mahashivratri, a government holiday, was observed on Monday — between 6am and 8 pm. On Monday, at least 23,757 commuters used the monorail services during the period.
The second phase, which was inaugurated Sunday by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, connects Sant Gadge Chowk to Wadala. The CM had expressed hope that the new phase will give a much-needed boost to the full monorail corridor.
The 8.24-km-long first phase, from Wadala to Chembur, was inaugurated in February 2014, has received poor response due to its alignment and lack of connectivity with other public transport systems. It also witnessed a spate of accidents, including a fire, which also led to services being shut for 10 months. So far, the first phase has been making losses.
“The Monorail phase-1 was only a joyride and loss-making project. The second phase will ensure the whole corridor is useful for the public,” Fadnavis had said at a press conference after inaugurating the second phase line Sunday. Meanwhile, a senior officer from the Mumbai Metropolitian Region Development Authority (MMRDA) said that currently only four monorail trains were operational on the entire route.
“With four rakes we are providing more than 110 services between Sant Gadge Chowk to Chembur. There is a gap of 20.8 minutes between two monorail services. This is one of the major reasons behind lower footfall,” the official said. He added that soon the MMRDA will float tenders for five more rakes, which will be delivered before July.
“Once we get the new rakes, the service frequency will double on the full corridor and that will attract more commuters,” he said.