Six years after plans were announced, Mumbai is yet to see seamless integration between different modes of transport
Six years after it was formed in the hope that Mumbai would have an integrated transportation system, the Unified Mumbai Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMMTA) is still a toothless tiger. But now, efforts are on once again to strengthen this umbrella body to create a seamless system where residents can use a single pass to travel in trains, buses, autos and water transport. A high-level meeting between top officials of different government agencies last week has agreed to look at ways to empower the UMMTA.
There is hardly any integration between the various modes of transport in Mumbai
With nearly 75 lakh people travelling in local trains operated by Central and Western Railways every day, in addition to 40 lakh commuters on BEST buses and a further 55 lakh travelling in taxis and autos, the transportation network is complicated. “A streamlined transportation system is the need of the hour,” said a state transport department official. With the Monorail (Chembur-Wadala stretch) already operational there is now one more mode of transport to consider.
Next up is the Metro rail Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar (VAG) corridor, which is expected to be operational soon. Government officials state that over here, too, there are different agencies that would run its operations. Metro rail is expected to connect the Western and Central Railways apart from creating more room for running buses on feeder routes.
City under strain
Original plans included a single pass for multiple modes of transport. Feeder bus and auto routes were also part of the plans. Multiple agencies running different transport systems is a big hurdle. Most large cities such as New York and Paris have integrated systems.