In a relief to the city’s commuters, Metro and Monorail services are set to resume.
The Monorail service between Chembur and Sant Gadge Maharaj Chowk is set to resume operations from Sunday, a day ahead of the Metro 1 from Versova to Ghatkopar that will resume on Monday.
As the city unlocks, the Central Railway (CR) that started operations for essential services workers in July will add an additional 225 daily suburban train services, a move aimed at easing commuters’ crowding woes. The city reported 1,791 new cases of Covid-19 on Saturday.
On Saturday Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) Commissioner R A Rajeev took a ride on the Monorail route to inspect its service.
The Monorail was given the state government’s approval to resume services on October 15. MMRDA, which looks after the maintenance and operation of the Monorail, said in a statement on Saturday, “In order to make sure the infection does not spread, tickets will be given on QR code, the new ticket system which was installed on the Monorail corridor recently.”
The Monorail that was completely shut down on March 22 amid the pandemic-induced lockdown in the country will initially run 100 trips in a day. A call on running additional services will be determined by commuter response.
Prior to the lockdown, the Monorail ran 115 services a day and had a daily ridership of about 800.
The Metro service on the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar route, that will resume services on Monday, will be open to all commuters unlike suburban trains. While there will be no cap on the number of commuters who will be allowed to board the Metro, commuters who do not clear the health checks including a temperature check will not be allowed to enter the Metro.
Abhay Mishra, Chief Executive Officer of Mumbai Metro 1 said, “When we had started services in June 2014, we never thought there will be a time we will have to shut operations. But due to Covid-19 the services were shut for almost six months. On October 15 the state government gave us go ahead to start operations. We needed some preparations… that is why we decided to start the operations from Monday”.
Mishra added that while the operation of the services was stopped amid the lockdown, their entire work apparatus, including station clearances, was operational.
He said 300 staff members worked almost day and night to make sure when services get the nod from the state government, commuters face no hazardous situation.
Mishra said that in order to maintain contact-less travelling, the existing token ticket system was scraped. When services resume on Monday, commuters will be issued paperless tickets through a QR code and PayTM.
“We will start the operations with over 200 services, with a time gap of six minutes during peak hours and eight and a half minute time gap between the services in non peak hours,” said Mishra.
“There are 32 staff of Metro 1 who tested Covid positive, 28 have already recovered, four are still in recovery. I request all the commuters to co-operate with the new traveling system,” he said. Metro services will start from 8.30 am on Monday and run till 8.30 pm.
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