Partying tonight on New Year's Eve? Here are your transportation options

Less than half the number of taxis and auto rickshaws in the city will be plying tonight; Railways and BEST to operate additional services late in the night

Planning a big bash for tonight? You should be aware that there are fewer options of transportation to take you back home tonight. More than half the number of auto rickshaws and taxis in the city have decided to stay off the roads tonight.

Also read: 41 drivers were caught drunk in Mumbai every day

Union leaders for both auto rickshaws and taxis told this paper that less than half of their fleet would ply on the road, as drivers would either spend time with their own families or simply stay home on such a crowded night. However, to bring you some respite, local trains and BEST buses will ply in additional numbers late in the night.

Traffic cops’ advice for motorists
>> Motorists intending to go to Hilton Towers, NCPA and Nariman Point area are advised to use internal routes of the Nariman Point complex from Mantralaya Junction, as no vehicles are permitted on Dorabji Tata Road
>> Motorists intending to go to Colaba are advised to use the Regal Circle – Shahid Bhagat Singh Road
>> Motorists intending to go to south Mumbai from eastern suburbs are advised to use Babasaheb Ambedkar Road, J J Flyover or P D’Mello Road

Trains
WR will operate eight locals. “We will run eight special local trains at midnight; four each from Churchgate to Virar and Virar to Churchgate,” said Sharat Chandrayan, chief PRO, WR. These will be slow trains. “We will operate one train each from CST to Kalyan and CST to Panvel at 1.30 am,” said Mukesh Nigam, divisional railway manager (Mumbai), Central Railway.

Buses
BEST will operate additional services tonight, especially near Gateway of India, Juhu Chowpatty, Girgaum Chowpatty, Gorai beach, Versova and other areas. In all, there will be 14 extra services route numbers 1 Ltd, 7 Ltd, 112, 203, 231, 247 and 294. BEST officials will also be present at Juhu Chowpatty, Gorai Beach, Churchgate station and CST.

Auto rickshaws
Normally, 80,000 auto rickshaws ply on roads at night. Today, this number drops by half. “Around 40,000 autos are expected to ply today. Many drivers are either busy with family or avoid going out due to the crowd. We have asked all (working) drivers to inform the police in case of any crisis,” said Shashank Rao, auto rickshaw union leader.

One way
>> BEST Marg (Ormiston Road, Colaba) from its junction from Shahid Bhagat Singh Marg (Fort) to the junction of P J Ramchandani Marg (Nagpada).
>> Cooperage Road (Colaba) will be closed for south-bound traffic from Ambedkar Statue Junction to Buckley Court Junction onward till BEST Junction of Shahid Bhagat Singh Marg.

Parking restrictions
Parking restrictions will be imposed on the following roads from 7 pm on December 31, 2014 till 4 am on January 1, 2015
>> P J Ramchandani Marg, Nagpada
>> Mahakavi Bhushan Marg, Colaba
>> BEST Marg (Ormiston Road), Colaba
>> Miyaz Road (Arthur Bunder Road)
>> Henry Road, Colaba
>> Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Marg, Colaba
>> Adam Street, Colaba
>> Shahid Bhagat Singh Road (Colaba Causeway) from Regal Circle to its junction with Arthur Bunder Road, that is, Miyaz Road

Suburbs
>> Juhu Road: No entry from Juhu Tara Road from 3 pm today to 5 am tomorrow.
>> Juhu Road: No parking on Juhu Road from 3 pm today to 5 am tomorrow.
>> Juhu Tara Road: No entry for south-bound vehicles at Centaur Junction from 3 pm today till 5 am tomorrow.
>> Vaikunthlal Mehta Road, Nehru Nagar Vile Parle West: No entry on V M Road (westbound) towards Juhu Chowpaty till 5 am tomorrow.

Taxis and radio cabs
>> To begin with, a majority of the 38,000-strong fleet of black-and-yellow taxis will stop plying after evening. “Only 40 per cent of these cabs will remain on road. There are chances that their numbers could further reduce, depending on the crowds on road,” said A L Quadros, taxi union leader. This brings down the available number to
around 15,000.

>> If you’re thinking you could hire a radio cab instead, there’s not much hope there as well. Fleet cabs, which are usually parked outside watering holes at night to ferry passengers home, will also not be seen much. For instance, Tab Cabs has around 2,800 vehicles, but officials fear that not many would risk being stuck in traffic.

>> People will have to book our cabs through the call centre or mobile apps. Due to the possibility of drunken people on road, drivers might not want to take out their vehicles,” said Jagdish Purohit, managing director,
Tab Cabs. The traffic police has imposed restrictions from 7 pm till 4 am.

>> Bookmycab, the booking agency for black-and-yellow taxis, has special offers to encourage people not to take out their vehicles tonight. “If any of our new patrons book our cab between midnight and 6 am, they will be refunded the night charge that they pay to the driver. Our call centre will get in touch with the patrons and take their bank details to refund the amount,” said Avinash Gupta, CEO, Bookmycab.

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