Monorail to start by March with higher fares

February 09, 2019 12:23 am | Updated 12:23 am IST - Mumbai

After being non-operational for nearly one year, the second phase of the Mumbai Monorail, which connects Wadala to Jacob Circle in Mahalaxmi, will most likely be thrown open by the first week of March. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) will also implement the new fare structure when it commissions the second phase.

MMRDA on Friday received spare parts required to make four more rakes operational, thus overcoming the main hurdle from commissioning the entire corridor. MMRDA is operating only three rakes, which are not sufficient for operations along the entire 19-km corridor.

“The parts will enable MMRDA bring four more mono trains into service. Once commissioned, the route will attract many more commuters,” said Dilip Kawathkar, Joint Project Director (PR), MMRDA. According to MMRDA officials, the daily ridership is expected to increase from 17,000 at present to around one lakh.

Once the entire corridor is commissioned, services will run at a 20-minute frequency from Chembur to Mahalaxmi. Under the new fare structure, tickets will would range from ₹10 to ₹40, which are currently in the range of ₹5 to ₹11.

Senior MMRDA officials said it will take them around 20 days to fit the spares. The spares had originally been ordered by the former operator, Scomi Engineering, but was stuck in Customs. MMRDA officials said they had paid for all the spares and had full rights over them after they took over operations in December last year. MMRDA has also floated tenders for a fresh batch of spares, which they expect to come within the next three to four months.

The second phase has been considered crucial for the viability of the cursed project as it will provide seamless connectivity to areas not connected by rail. It will also provide connectivity to all three suburban rail lines. The second phase was completed nearly a year ago.

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