After launching two new modes of public transportation systems last year – the Metro and the Monorail – the city’s development authority has commissioned a study to find out if the twin projects together costing Rs 5,421 crore have had any impact on the vehicular traffic.
Accordingly, the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) has been monitoring the Versova-Ghatkopar stretch and the Chembur-Wadala route, especially the congested RC Marg, to examine if congestion has eased and the speed of traffic has increased.
P R K Murthy, chief of the transportation and communication cell at the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), said, “The institute is studying four parameters – noise levels, actual traffic count, speed of traffic and delays. The institute has already completed its study for the Monorail and is in the process of analysing figures for the report. The study along the Metro corridor started about 10 days ago.”
The figures will be compared to a study that the MMRDA had conducted before the construction on the two corridors had started in 2008.
“As per the earlier study before the construction of the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar had started, it used to take about 70-75 minutes to travel from Versova to Ghatkopar using the Barfiwala flyover route. The average speed of traffic was roughly 11-12 kilometres per hour. The general observation is that the traffic has reduced and it is possible to cover the distance between Versova to Ghatkopar in even 30 minutes in off-peak hours,” Murthy said.
For the Monorail, he said, it would be more relevant to study the impact on vehicular congestion on Chembur’s RC Marg, as prior to 2008 there was not much traffic all the way towards Wadala.
“Earlier, it used to take about 20-25 minutes to cover the four kilometres on RC Marg,” he added. The 11.4-km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro was opened to traffic in June 2014 and has provided a vital east-west rail link, making it possible to travel between the two ends in 20 minutes. The Metro, constructed at a cost of Rs 4,321 crore, ferries about 2.5 lakh commuters daily.
The 8.8-km Chembur-Wadala Monorail, on the other hand, has received a tepid response so far despite it having been launched with much fanfare in February last year. The line on the first phase from Chembur to Wadala, built at a cost of Rs 1,100 crore, are at most times seen running with lean passenger traffic with the ridership ranging from anywhere between 12,000 and 20,000 commuters a day.
Officials have time and again said that the real impact of the Monorail will be felt once the entire corridor from Chembur to Jacob Circle, costing a total of Rs 3,000 crore, is made functional.