Coronavirus scare: Local ridership falls by 10 lakh per day, AC trains shut

Updated: Mar 20, 2020, 07:29 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

The number of passengers on railway lines and public transport buses is on a steady decline like never before with every passing day

There are fewer people taking public transport say authorities. Pic/ Ashish Raje
There are fewer people taking public transport say authorities. Pic/ Ashish Raje

With the spread of COVID-19, a fall of about 10 lakh passengers on an average per day has been reported in the city. The railways have cancelled trains, withdrawn concessions and many taxi drivers have returned to their native places.

The number of passengers on railway lines and public transport buses is on a steady decline like never before with every passing day.

While Central Railway officials said 16 AC suburban services running on the trans-harbour line – Thane-Vashi/Nerul/Panvel stand cancelled from March 20 to March 31. There will be no replacement of these services by non-AC locals. Western Railway officials said that AC local services on the line too will be cancelled from March 20 and will be replaced by non-AC suburban services. The total number of suburban services will thus remain the same on WR.

BEST officials said that the number of passengers travelling on buses too has come down to 24.52 lakh on March 18 as compared to a daily average of 32 lakh.

The Central Railway also cancelled 30 more outstation trains on Thursday in addition to 32 cancelled earlier, taking the total cancellations to 62. Western Railway has decided to further cancel 72 trips of 10 mail/express trains including IRCTC-run private trains over the Western Railway – Tejas & Kashi Mahakal Express trains.

The Konkan Railway has also announced the cancellation of four of its trains, including the AC Double Decker express to Goa and Duronto trains. A list and details of all cancelled trains are available on both the railways' official social media accounts.

To discourage unnecessary travel and prevent vulnerable category of senior citizens from undertaking unnecessary travel, concessional booking of all tickets except patients, students and divyangjan category are being suspended from March 20 till further advisory.

While the number of suburban passengers who travelled on WR was 32,60,878 on March 17 with an earning of Rs 1,86,72,092, it declined to 26,29,974 passengers with earnings of Rs 1,48,28,172 on March 18. On CR, the suburban passenger figure was 39 lakh on March 17 and declined to approximately 31 lakh on March 18.

Parking space issue

Mumbai Taximen's Union secretary Anthony Quadros said, "Due to the fear of Coronavirus, there is a reduction of more than 50 per cent in meter taxi passengers.

"There is a huge slump in passengers arriving by trains and air. Due to the huge reduction in passengers using taxis, many taxi drivers have gone back to their native places out of fear." Quadros said that about 75 per cent of metered taxis are operated by drivers on a daily contract basis. The non-operative taxis have created a problem of parking. He has sought co-operation from police and other authorities regarding this.

Drop in passengers and earnings:

WR - March 17 - 32.60 lakh - R1.86 cr
WR - March 18 - 26.29 lakh - R1.48 cr
CR - March 17 - 39 lakh
CR - March 18 - 31 lakh

16
No. of AC locals on trans-harbour line cancelled from March 20-31

8L
Approximate drop in no. of passengers on BEST buses from March 17 to 18

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