Mumbai Monorail is the first public transport system to be introduced in the city, in its post-independence era.
The Mumbai Monorail is a public transport system implemented by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), in association with infrastructure firms Larsen & Toubro, and Scomi Engineering. On February 2, 2014, a part of the first phase of the monorail was thrown open to Mumbai’s inhabitants.
Mumbai is among the most crowded cities on the planet. The 2011 census report of India has established that the city is home to about a staggering 17 million people. Out of these, around 10 million people depend on the public transport systems to go to and fro their work places. The break-up of this 10 million is given by 3 million people opting for buses, and the remaining 7 million traveling by Mumbai’s famed local trains.
However, with the ever growing population and the traffic worsening day by day, the city was reeling under the lack of alternative modes of transport. Thankfully, plans for work on the Mumbai Monorail project were announced in 2008, and the actual work began in January 2009. The Mumbai Monorail is basically a two-phase project that covers a majority of suburbs and areas located in the fringe parts of the city. While the first phase would cover western suburbs of Virar, Goregaon, Borivali, Lokhandwala, etc., Phase two would extend till central and eastern suburbs of Mumbai such as Kalyan, Thane, Chembur, Koparkhairane, etc.
The monorails are reported to reach a top speed of 80 km/hr and an average speed of 65 km/hr. More importantly, the noise produced by a monorail during a commute would be between 65 – 85 decibels, which is even lower than the noise produced by a BEST bus, which stands at a standard 95 decibels. The monorail consisting of four cars shall have a capacity of carrying 568 commuters at once, while a monorail consisting of six cars shall have the capacity of transporting 852 passengers. The MMRDA estimates that about 125,000 people would use the service daily, with peak hour figures being approximated at 7, 400 per direction.
As of February 2014, only an 8.9 km corridor between Wadala and Chembur has been available to the masses. The MMRDA has asserted that the remaining work on both phases would be accomplished gradually. Presently, the Mumbai Monorail’s 19.2 km Chembur – Wadala Jacob Circle route is only second to Japan’s Osaka monorail, which holds the world record for being the longest monorail route on the planet. The tickets for the Mumbai monorail have been priced between ₹5 and ₹11.