But due to shortage of monorail rakes, the MMRDA will run only one train every 15 minutes.
Mumbai: The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) expects a threefold increase in ridership for the monorail from the current 18,000 daily once the phase-2 (Wadala and Jacob Circle) starts later this year. But due to shortage of monorail rakes, the MMRDA will run only one train every 15 minutes.
Out of the 15 rakes required to run the corridor, the MMRDA currently has only 10 rakes in its possession, of which only four are functional. However, remaining six rakes that are under maintenance would be made functional after the second phase is commissioned taking the number of rakes to 10.
Currently, the average daily ridership of monorail phase-1 between Chembur and Wadala is around 18,000. The MMRDA anticipates the ridership to touch one lakh every day, once both the phases between Chembur and Jacob Circle in Mahalaxmi is commissioned later this year. The MMRDA had placed an order of 15 rakes with the Malaysia-based Scomi Engineering way back during the commencement of the project in 2008. Out of the 15 rakes MMRDA received 10 rakes in 2014 during the commissioning of the monorail phase-1.
MMRDA metropolitan commissioner U.P.S. Madan said, “We are operating the first phase with four rakes. The balance six under maintenance rakes would be ready soon. With 10 rakes a frequency of one train every 15 minutes could be maintained when the second phase is commissioned. While we would receive the balance five upgraded rakes gradually.”
Ever since phase-1 of the Mumbai monorail was commissioned, its operations have regularly been in the news owing to constant breakdowns in the rakes.
A.V. Shenoy, transport expert, said, “A 15-minute wait is is too long. For a mass transport like this it should be around 7-8 minutes otherwise a commuter might go for alternate mode of transport. MMRDA can add the balance rakes later but it should not delay getting those to increase frequency.”