Mumbai Metro won't hurt our business: Auto drivers

Say limited number of coaches in Metro rakes, uncertainty surrounding fare, and the fact that they provide door-to-door service will help them retain customers

The limited number of coaches on each Metro rake and the uncertainty surrounding the fare has left auto rickshaw drivers plying on the Ghatkopar-Saki Naka-Marol route confident that the Metro will not have a big impact on their business.

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“There will be some impact on our business for a few days, but there will be no long-term effect, as our service is available without any break during peak hours, and most customers prefer autos for the door-to-door service we provide. The Metro also does not offer a significant time advantage if you consider the time spent in ticket queues and in waiting for the train to arrive,” said Ganesh Gaikwad, a rickshaw driver who provides share service on the Ghatkopar-Saki Naka stretch.

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“People who are carrying luggage will not go on the Metro, as trains don’t take commuters to their doorstep,” said Raju Gunjal, a rickshaw driver who plies on meter basis. Other auto drivers said that the Metro won’t be able to handle the entire commuter load on the route, as the coaches per rake are fewer as compared to suburban local trains.

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Some also said the commuter excitement surrounding the Metro could also wear off if the fare is revised upwards.

Over 200 rickshaws run on the Ghatkopar-Saki Naka route during peak hours each day. Each driver makes an average of eight trips on this route on a daily basis.

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