Mumbai Metro Ridership Hits 400-Million Mark
At a time when the Mumbai local train network is still struggling with poor infrastructure and a swelling crowd, the Mumbai Metro has crossed 400-million ridership at a 12-kilometre route between Versova- Andheri- Ghatkopar in a period of four years. Also, it has emerged as the only public transport infrastructure that witnessed an increase in passengers of up to 15 per cent annually.
The major reason behind the success of the route is its swift connectivity, comfort and punctuality. While a bus would take at least 60 minutes to reach Ghatkopar from Andheri, metro hardly takes 20 minutes to cover the distance, which makes it preferable despite higher fares. According to data presented by Mumbai Metro One, it operates with around 378-382 trips on weekdays with a punctuality performance of 99.9 per cent along what is the world's densest corridor. The route also connects the eastern and western suburbs via Andheri.
The growing numbers
Interestingly, the 400-million ridership mark was reached in 300 days as compared to 388 days for the 200-million mark and 337 days for the 300-million mark. The Metro pulls in around 4 lakh commuters a day on the 12-km line. While the Andheri-Western Express Highway route recorded 48 per cent increase, the Andheri-Azad Nagar route registered 45 per cent increase in ridership.
Also, as the Metro ridership is increasing, other transport mediums are losing passengers. According to an estimate, BEST bus ridership has fallen by 13 lakh in eight years. To cut losses, BEST fares have been increased by 167 per cent since 2010.
Currently, three more lines – Metro-2A (Dahisar-DN Nagar), Metro-7 (Dahisar East to Andheri East) and Metro-3 (Colaba-Bandra-Seepz) – are under construction. The MMRDA has recently awarded contracts for two more – Metro-2B (DN Nagar to Mandale) and Metro-4 (Wadala-Thane-Kasarvadavali) – and the agency expects work on these to begin after monsoon this year. It has also got a nod from the state cabinet for Metro-5 (Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan) and Metro-6 (Swami-Samarth Nagar-Vikhroli) for which bids will be called soon. The operations on Metro-3 will start from June 2021.