Despite high ticket rates, Mumbai commuters relieved with metro

Travelers want lines to be extended, demand affordable rates

geetanjali

Geetanjali Minhas | June 24, 2014



While the Bombay high court on Tuesday upheld Reliance's argument and ruled that fares for Mumbai Metro would remain in the Rs 10 to Rs 40 slab till the fare fixation committee deals with the issue, the ride has been good so far, say Mumbaikars. Despite the relatively higher ticket rates when compared to Delhi Metro.

Besides offering east-west connectivity in a chock-a-block city whose public transport systems are bursting at the seams, the 11.4-km Metro, which began operations on June 8, acts as a feeder service to the overburdened suburban railways that ferries nearly 70 lakh people every day.

To get a sense of the experiences of the travelers boarding the metro across the city, we spoke to some of them — Rajat Sharma has been travelling by the metro during its non-peak hours since its inception. He travels from Mulund to Ghatkpoar on the Mumbai local, from where he hops on to the metro to travel to Versova. According to Rajat, the metro is not as crowded as the local and the AC acts as a major respite. He said he reaches Mulund to Versova in 55 miutues. “It provides a huge relief. I hope that the services are extended to Thane soon,” he says. 

Ashish Rai, a salesman from Delhi, who is in Mumbai for work, says compared to Delhi, the frequency of the Mumbai Metro is less. He, however, says, “It’s much better than travelling by bus”, adding that there must be a separate coach for women and cleanliness must be maintained. He says, if the fare, as suggested by the government is maintained, would do well for everybody. “The city is in a desperate need of more such trains,” he adds with a smile.

Another commuter Divya, who lives in Dubai was making a trip to the metro as her car broke down. She says though the metro is good, it should also offer the facility of first-class travel like other cities in the world do. Divya feels that Rs 40 is a decent fare considering the fine infrastructure. “It is quite good. Most people travel from suburbs to south Mumbai every day, there must be a metro for that line as well. I hope the standards are maintained, as it is serving a massive population,” she says.

61-year-old Madhuri and 59-year-old Shaila, both friends, were travelling for the third time by the metro. Like the others, they also said that the AC was the best feature. They said it saves time and is cost-effective. “If you travel by auto from Andheri, it will cost Rs 130. Even if fares are increased: it is worth the cost and will save one from the everyday grind,” says Madhuri. 

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