Mumbai: First day on Metro 1 was a breeze, what next?

Updated: 20 October, 2020 10:50 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar, Ranjeet Jadhav | Mumbai

With the Metro having limited the number of passengers on each train, questions remain about how the trains would be managed if crowds go beyond the permissible limit of 360 passengers

mid-day took the first Metro train that started on Monday after a 7-month hiatus. Our reporters and commuters tell you what Day 1 on the long-awaited service was like
mid-day took the first Metro train that started on Monday after a 7-month hiatus. Our reporters and commuters tell you what Day 1 on the long-awaited service was like

While the crowd on Metro was limited on Monday even during morning and evening peak hours, its management in the future in case the number of people crosses the permissible limits will decide the quality of travel and its effect on people's health amid COVID-19. While the Metro seemed to have checked all the right boxes with commuters being satisfied, it could consider contingency measures to ensure its services can continue smoothly.

How many travelled?

On Monday, the Metro rain 200 services with 100 per cent punctuality till 8.30 pm. The ridership till this time was over 12,500 (with an average of approximately 62 passengers per one-way service). The authorities had expected the figure to reach 10,000. The Metro expects the footfall to increase significantly in the next few weeks. Regular Metro commuters were a happy lot as they could not only save travel time, they found Metro much safer than crowded buses.

Metro's new paper tickets are to be scanned at access gates. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Metro's new paper tickets are to be scanned at access gates. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

How can Metro improve?

Travelling on the post-COVID-19 Metro was a pleasant experience on Day 1. However, this can be attributed to the lesser number of people. There remains a question mark over what would happen when the crowds swell and exceed the limit put on every train.

The Metro could, perhaps, open more gates, but those should be only for exit and away from the entry points to limit the clashing of crowds.

The experience of Delhi Metro has been different in that a month after it reopened, it was found that even with limited capacity inside coaches, the number of journeys is way below the pre-pandemic days. The DMRC (Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited) staff have said that people remain wary of using public transport immediately. Mumbai in comparison has witnessed a contrasting traffic pattern, with the number of commuters only growing.

One of the first commuters

One of the earliest commuters on the Metro on Monday was Chembur resident Anil More who de-boarded the Metro at WEH station. More welcoming the resumption of services and said he was satisfied with the quality of service in the Metro's compliment diary.

Also Read: Mumbaikars give Metro 1 a cautious welcome

Voices

Ramakant Gharat,
'I had been waiting for this day. I am an IT executive and work in Saki Naka. Travelling from Ghatkopar every day in those small, crowded AC buses was frustrating. I am very thankful to the Maharashtra government for getting this back on track'

Sarita Saha,
'I am a marketing professional. I was wary about travelling on public transport at first, but it has been smooth sailing at the entry gates. It gave me confidence. They have arranged things very well. I will continue to take the Metro'

Paras Kumar Mangaliya,
'The local trains should be resumed by the government now. As you enter from the Mumbai Metro into Ghatkopar station, they don't allow you inside the station unless you are an essential worker'

Commuterspeak

Jayesh Ghoghe

Jayesh Ghoghe,
'I travel between Ghatkopar and Versova every day. I am saving almost 60 minutes thanks to the Metro. While travelling by road, it used to take 90 minutes'

Rajesh Yadav

Rajesh Yadav,
'I have been travelling by Metro from Versova to Ghatkopar daily ever since it was inaugurated. Its resumption is going to be very helpful for daily commuters like me'

Sumit Ghawri

Sumit Ghawri,
'I am so happy that Metro has finally begun. This is a boon for a regular traveller like me who commutes between Versova and Ghatkopar daily. Life had become very hectic without Metro. The good part is that they are taking the best possible care and looking after commuters by sanitising their hands and checking their temperatures'

Sumit Ghawri

c,
'It is good to see that the Metro has resumed but the crowd on Day 1 was very less. This may be because people are unaware that it has started. I feel commuters will increase in the coming days. It was good to see that staff were screening commuters. The alternate seating arrangement is also very good'

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First Published: 20 October, 2020 07:26 IST

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