Update: The Mumbai Monorail ferried over 20,000 people on its first day of operations. People part of the first ride were reportedly thrilled to cover the journey in 20 minutes, half of the time it takes by road. The thronging rush also served as a good test bed, as the authorities realised that the ticketing system needs to be made faster if the waiting time is to be cut down.
The Mumbai Monorail opens on Sunday, 2 February 2014, as an 8.93 km stretch comes into operation. It will connect Wadala and Chembur in eastern Mumbai. The hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a frequency of 15 minutes. Tickets have been priced at Rs. 5 to Rs. 11, although no monthly passes are available.
The master plan for the monorail, designed to improve the transportation system of Mumbai, has been implemented by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), with a consortium of Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and a Malaysian firm, Scomi Engineering.
It is the first monorail to run in India after the closure of the Kundala Valley Railway and the Patiala State Monorail Trainways (PSMT) in the 1920s. It is expected that this elevated monorail service will provide a better commuting alternative to the jam-packed narrow streets of the city.
Timeline of the Mumbai Monorail master plan
- 18 August 2008: Vilasrao Deshmukh, the then Chief Minister of Maharashtra, passed the order to build the Mumbai Monorail.
- 11 November 2008: Larsen and Toubro, along with Malaysian partner Scomi, was announced as the winner of the tender. Two consortia, namely Bombardier Transportation / Reliance Energy / Hitachi Monorail, and Larsen and Toubro / Scomi Rail were short-listed.
- Larsen and Toubro, along with Scomi, received an INR 24.6 billion (US$ 380 million) contract to build and operate the monorail until 2029.
- January 2009: Construction of Mumbai Monorail started along the Chembur - Wadala - Jacob Circle route.
- 9 February 2009: Bhoomipujan was organised at Chembur.
- 26 January 2010: A 108-meter test run was successfully conducted.
- 18 February 2012: The first test-run of about 1km was carried out from its yard in Wadala to Bhakti Park station.
- August 2012: The deadline for operation of the first phase of the line, between Chembur and Wadala, was postponed to this date.
- 15 September 2013: Deadline again postponed because of delays.
- 23 August 2013: In a meeting between Larsen and Toubro and MMRDA officials, the MMRDA metropolitan commissioner U. P. S. Madan warned that the MMRDA would be forced to impose penalties and initiate legal action against the contractors in case of accidents.
- 10-12 December 2013: Successful trial of Wadala-Chembur route.
- 1 February 2014: Inauguration of Phase 1 of the mass-transportation system.
- 2 February 2014: The 8.93 km Chembur-Wadala route opens for the public.
8.8 km Chembur-Wadala route. It covers seven stations, namely, Wadala depot, Mysore colony, Bhakti Park, Bharat Petroleum, V.N. Purav Marg, Fertiliser Colony, and Chembur.
11.2 km Wadala-Jacob Circle route. This route covers 11 stations, namely, Chinchpokli, Chembur Naka, Wadala Bridge, Mint Colony, Acharya Atre Nagar, Antop Hill, Wadala, GTB Nagar, Fertilizer Company and Bharat Petroleum. It is planned to finish by the end of 2014.
- Mumbai is the first city in India to use the monorail system.
- The first route that is now open to public is 8.93 km long.
- The total planned length of the project is 20 km.
- All the coaches are fully air-conditioned.
- The Fare will range from INR 5 to INR 19.
- Maximum speed: 80 km/hr (50 mph)
- Average speed: 65 km/hr (40 mph)
- Each four-car train can accommodate 568 commuters, whereas a six-car train can fill in 852 passengers.
- In one coach, 18 passengers can sit while 124 can stand
- Timings: 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for the initial weeks, which will be later changed to 5:00 a.m. to 12 midnight.
- 7,400 passengers are expected to use the monorail during peak hours.
- 1.25 lakh passengers are expected to commute via the monorail every day.
- Once complete, the monorail will connect Jacob Circle (southern Mumbai) to Chembur (eastern Mumbai).
- Due to unforeseen delays, the project is running late by two years.
The construction of monorail service has been estimated to be INR 850 million per km. The total cost to complete the network is roughly INR 200 billion.
More Monorail routes to come in near future:
- Thane to Bhiwandi
- Malabar Hill to Bandra Kurla
- Lokhandwala Complex to Kanjurmarg
- Chembur to Govandi