The ridership on air-conditioned suburban trains has witnessed a seven-fold rise in the last six months, with the most robust figures coming from Thane, Dombivali and Kalyan stations, a Central Railway official said on Saturday.
Ridership has increased from 5,939 per day in February this year to 41,333 in August, a CR release said, adding that AC locals account for 56 of its 1,819 suburban trips every day.
“Between February and August, the highest number of 10,50,511 passengers travelled on AC locals from Thane, followed by Dombivali with 9,39,431 passengers and Kalyan with 9,01,859 passengers,” the release informed.
Incidentally, CR had to withdraw 10 services of the AC local train on its main line (from CSMT to Thane and beyond) after passengers patronising non-AC suburban trains at Badlapur and Kalwa stations in neighbouring Thane district agitated.
Even Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar entered the debate by claiming AC trains should be permanently withdrawn and be replaced with normal ones for the benefit of passengers.
Central Railway ferries around 40 lakh passengers on its suburban network, which spans from CSMT to Kasara and Khopoli (main line), CSMT to Panvel and Goregaon (harbour line), Vashi to Thane and Panvel (trans-harbour line) and the newly commissioned Bamandongri-Belapur/ Seawood line.