Monorail which was inaugurated by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and meant to decongest the city’s roads had a bumpy ride as it developed some technical snag at the Bharat Petroleum railway station. As a result of this, commuters had to alight from the coach. The technical problems were resolved as the services resumed once again. The four car coach which can carry 570 passengers had become overcrowded as passengers thronged to the station for experiencing the first ride. Many of them had reached the station at 4 am. The Monorail service was delayed by an hour thereby causing huge inconvenience to passengers.
Excited Mumbaikars queued up outside Chembur and Wadala stations since early morning to experience the ride. The part of Monorail which has opened is 8.93 km and will cover the distance from Chembur to Wadala in less than 20 minutes and has seven stations – Wadala, Bhakti Park, Mysore Colony, BPCL, Fertiliser Township, VNP-RC Marg Junction and Chembur.
To start with, the monorail will run every 15 minutes between 7 am and 3 pm. All coaches of the monorail trains are air-conditioned. Tickets are priced between Rs. 5 and Rs. 11. There will no monthly passes like the ones on Mumbai’s lifeline, the local trains, but there will be a system of smart cards. Few commuters shared their experience after commuting in India’s first Monorail.
Ajay Shelar, who boarded the train from Chembur said, “I enjoyed the ride in monorail but I had to undergo some hardships too. I had to stand in queue for more than one hour for purchasing tickets. The coaches were overcrowded thereby causing inconvenice to everyone.”
Ashu Panchan, who travelled from Wadala to Chembur said, “The train had stopped at Bharat Petroleum station due to technical snag thereby causing hardships to commuters. People had alighted at the station. I am happy that the services have finally started.”
Rajkumar Patel a Chembur resident said, “The Monorail will make commuting easier in the city. However, the service was disrupted due to technical problems. I hope that the administration will streamline the services and make it more passenger friendly”.
An official from MMRDA spoke to AV on the condition of anonymity and said, “The services had affected for sometime due to technical problem. Large number of people had visited the station to experience the first ride. More services will be introduced in the future after taking into consideration passenger footfall.”