Mumbai Metro-1 provides no relief for T2 passengers

When a mid-day reporter posed as a commuter trying to find an auto rickshaw to reach Terminal 2 from Airport Road station, it took her 20 minutes to convince an auto driver to travel the 1.6 km distance

While the city’s Metro and Monorail were planned and designed to improve integrated transport system in Mumbai, the ground reality has not changed much for commuters. Travellers who hoped that the Airport Road station of Metro line 1 would help them reach the international airport (T2) faster have been left disappointed.

mid-day reporter Neha Tripathi had to run behind auto rickshaws for 20 minutes, trying to convince the driver to take her to the airport. Pic/Nimesh Dave
mid-day reporter Neha Tripathi had to run behind auto rickshaws for 20 minutes, trying to convince the driver to take her to the airport. Pic/Nimesh Dave

Last week, this mid-day reporter posed as a commuter trying to reach the airport. However, it proved to be a tough task to convince an auto rickshaw driver to take her to Terminal 2. It took 20 minutes of waiting to find a driver willing to travel the 1.6 km (distance between the Metro station and T2).

Starting from 2.55 pm, this reporter finally managed to find a willing auto rickshaw driver at 3.15 pm who dropped her at the city’s international airport. When asked, an auto driver said, “We usually don’t ferry passengers to T2 since there is no parking space for us. Moreover, we have to get in a queue to be able to get passengers from the airport.”

Another auto driver revealed, “In case a passenger from T2 gets in an auto which is not in queue, the traffic cops at the exit of the airport impose heavy penalty on us. Therefore, we choose to stay away from the airport, as we hardly get more than the minimum fare from it.”

Timeline

2.55 pm
The reporter started searching for an auto that would take her to T2

Till 3.05 pm
No auto driver agreed to ferry the reporter till T2

3.07 pm
An auto rickshaw driver was ready to go to T2, but refused to drop the reporter till the auto stand

3.15 pm
An auto rickshaw driver agreed to go to the airport and dropped the reporter at the auto drop zone

MMOPL Speak
The spokesperson of Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL), said, “The route and station locations were designed and planned by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) before it was awarded to us. We are following the plan as designed by them.”

MMRDA Speak
“Line 1 of Metro was planned in such a manner that the Airport Road station is close to the airport where passengers can avail public transportation to reach T2. Line 3 (Colaba-Bandra-Seepz) will be directly connected to the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, which will help commuters save time,” Dilip Kawatkar, Joint Project Director (Public Relation) of MMRDA said.

Commuter speak

Abhijeet Khot, a resident of Kandivli
I cannot rely on auto rickshaws at Airport Road station to reach the airport. Therefore, on days when I’m in a hurry to reach the airport, I prefer taking an auto from Andheri station, which costs me more.

Aditya Gupte, a resident of Jogeshwari
Auto rickshaw drivers define the terms near the station, especially during evenings. Once when I was coming from T2, I asked them to drop me till Airport Road station, and they demanded R100 for it. I had no option but to walk the 1.6 km when I was in a hurry to reach home.

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