Over 6 Lakh Passengers Commute In Mumbai Locals In First Week Of Reopening

by Sanjana Shenoy
Over 6 Lakh Passengers Commute In Mumbai Locals In First Week Of Reopening

Maharashtra Railways report that more than six lakh passengers travelled by the local trains within a week after the services resumed. Mumbai local trains resumed services post nationwide coronavirus lockdown on June 15. The local trains, one of the major lifeline of commute for the denizen of Mumbai closed down for 84 days to maintain the norms of maintaining social distancing. Now that Mumbai locals resumed, only essential service providers working for the state government are permitted to use these trains. It’s currently not meant for the general public.

Picture Credits: thehindu.com

More Than 6 Lakh Passengers Travelled By Mumbai Locals In 1 Week 2

Mumbai local trains became operational on June 15th. And reportedly more than six lakh employees in essential services travelled to their workplaces on training since one week of its reopening. In these numbers, around 2.8 lakh passengers travelled on Central Railway (CR) routes. The trains earned ₹1.06 crore, after issuing 91,000 tickets from June 15 to June 22. Meanwhile, an aggregate of 3.2 lakh passengers travelled on Western Railway. The  Western Railways earned around ₹52.13 lakh, after issuing 72,424 tickets during the same period. Earlier a survey conducted revealed that 62% of Mumbaikars preferred not to travel by Mumbai locals when the lockdown eases. 

The railways have permitted only 700 passengers on one local, with around 58 passengers inside each compartment. However, it’s been difficult to take care of social distancing inside the trains. Addressing the media, Subhash Gupta, President of Rail Yatri Parishad said, “It is necessary to have staggered office timings to maintain social distancing, as fewer crowds will be seen inside compartments. More trains must also be operated.”

Also Read: I Took A Flight From Mumbai To Delhi During Pandemic And Here’s My Experience

Bank & Postal Employees Still Don’t Have Permission To Travel By Mumbai Locals

Meanwhile, there’s no clarity over permitting bank and postal employees to travel on locals. CR officials said only employees who are eligible as per the list given by the government are permitted. The employees permitted by the government for local train travel include those working with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), government and personal hospitals, government, collector’s office, municipal teachers, the police, Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) and therefore the railways. Currently, Mumbai locals get disinfected and sanitized amid the coronavirus. 

The local train services were suspended for 84 days owing to the coronavirus outbreak. On June 15, the services resumed with the primary train operating at 4.03 am between Panvel and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT). Spread over 390 kilometres, the suburban railway operates 2,342 train services and carries more than 75 lakh commuters daily. By annual ridership, the Mumbai Suburban Railway is one among the busiest commuter rail systems in the world.

General Public Can Utilize Unused Train Passes When Mumbai Local Train Services Commence

Mumbaikars! Right now, you may not be allowed to travel in the Mumbai local trains. But here’s some good news. If you have monthly, quarterly, bi-yearly or yearly train passes, and still have some used days left, then you can utilize them for the remaining days when the services resume.

A CRIS (Centre for Railway Information Systems) official got in touch with Mumbai Mirror. He states “We are making a change in our system so that whenever passengers will come, their passes will be extended (for unused days) but it’s up to the railway to decide whose passes will be extended and whose not.” The official adds “According to this change, a zero value pass will be issued to the pass holders for their unused days.”  At the moment, this facility is available to current travellers or essential workers. So Mumbaikars, do stay patient and keep your train passes with you until you can travel by Mumbai local trains again. And if you miss the sounds of your daily commute on the Mumbai locals, then get nostalgic through this auditory delight.