A look at the Mumbai Monorail as it completes a year

While the ambitious Wadala-Chembur monorail corridor of Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) completes a year on Sunday, the monorail's journey has not been up to the mark so far. MMRDA while opening the line for operations had thought that it will be a huge success but with the regular technical glitches coming into the way of operations the authorities are struggling a lot.

According to MMRDA officials, the monorail ridership has crossed the 50 lakh mark in the last week of January which means that an average of around 14,000 people took a ride on monorail daily in the last one year.

The worrying is the fact that the ridership has not been as expected by MMRDA.  The phase-1 of the monorail between Wadala-Chembur was thrown open for public in February 2014 an in just close to eleven months the technical problems that the monorail services have started facing also raises a big question about the fact that will the trains be able to operate without any technical glitches when the entire Jacob Circle Wadala Chembur line will be operational. It should be noted that at present the number of people using the monorail in phase-1 is not that good as the train passes through isolated and less populated areas.

Experts also feel that once the entire Jacob-Circle-Wadala – Chembur monorail operation starts then the readership will increases by more than two to three times that of the present readership and that time it will be a really test for the monorail. Looking at its past experience the experts feel that it would stickup to the expectations of passengers.

In the month of November  the services were affected due to technical issues because of which MMRDA-Scoomi had to cancel around 20 monorail services between 4.30 pm to 6.30 pm.

It should be noted that monorail services have been facing many problems within few months of the services were started for public. It was also reported that how spare parts from new rakes were removed and replaced with those that were not working in the trains that were running on the Wadala Chembur corridor

Despite the problems faced by monorail, MMRDA-Scoomi authorities are happy with the overall performance of the phase-1. Speaking to mid day MMRDA official said, “The monorail is a new mode of transport which we are having for the first time in our country and so it is true that we are facing some issues during the operations but it’s a learning experience. We have already instructed the company looking after the operations that such problem should not occur and the implementation of the same has already begun. At present the success percentage of the monorail operations is 85 per cent and over the period of time it will improve.”

MMRDA claims that at present there are 15 rakes in Mumbai of which 10 are in running condition. However according to Scoomi authorities said that there are overall six trains available for Phase-1 operations.

MMRDA is confident that it will complete the work on the monorail phase two by 2015 end and the line will be thrown open for public by end of 2015.

The Constant Velocity Joint problem of the spare part has been one of the major issues that the monorail has been facing from long time. As it takes time to get Constant Velocity Joints from abroad the same parts from the trains that are not in operations were removed and fitted in the trains that are operational. The spare parts like bolts and nuts were purchased from local market.

Following are the problems that the monorail had to face from the time it was thrown open for public...
>> In the month of April-May incidents happened when the doors from which the people enter and exit opened on both the sides of themonorail train at Chembur.
>> On may 23 the door of one train opened while it was traveling between two stations.
>> On June 11 the important constant velocity joint of one off the rake broke.
>> On July 20th in an incident that had taken place under the Fertiliser Township Monorail Station , the wire had got tripped because of which the monorail services were completely shut for 10 hours. folllowing the incident where the Wadala Chembur monorail services were shut for ten hours on July 20-21, the MMRDA has told the Larsen & Toubro (L&T) to improve insulation of the wires to ensure that the services remain on track and henceforth no problem is caused.
>> On August 13 the Constant Velocity Joint of one of the train developed problem at VN Purav Marg-RC Marg Junction.
>> On October 11 once again the problem developed when Constant VE Joint broke and damaged apron door near Mysore Colony station.
>> On October 12 the Constant Velocity Joint of one of the train broke.
>> December 7 monorail services were once again hit due to technical glitches after breaking system of the rake failed.
>> Between October 21 and October 26 only two rakes were operational because of which the train frequency was reduced.

Did you know?
There are 131 monorail services at a frequency of 15 minutes from 6 am to 10 pm on a daily basis.

Average daily ridership: 14,079
Average weekend ridership: 16,699
Average weekday ridership: 13,072

Station-wise average daily ridership
Chembur: 5,500
VNP-RC Marg: 700
Bhakti Park: 700
Fertiliser Township: 2,200
Bharat Petroleum: 3,300
Wadala Depot: 2,650
Mysore Colony: 1,000

73% of the monorail commuters are regular users
84% of the monorail commuters prefer extended services up to 11 pm
83% of the monorail commuters asked for return tokens
53% of the monorail commuters want frequency to be increased between 6 to 10 minutes
70% of the monorail commuters walk to monorail stations
33% of the monorail commuters in the age group of 16-22 years
29% of the monorail commuters in each age group of 23-30 years and 31-58 years


KMS     FARE (Rs)
0-3        5
3-5        7
5-7        9
7-10      11
10-15     14
15-20     15
>20        19

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