In a significant development for the city’s first monorail service, which is expected to be operational in two months’ time, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is set to start trials with full passenger capacity from September 1.
The MMRDA has been carrying out trials for the last two years, but this is the first time they will start service trials, in which MMRDA staff members and contractors will use the monorail service as passengers.
Confirming the development, MMRDA additional commissioner Ashwini Bhide said, “As part of safety certification, we will have to carry out the service trials before opening the monorail service to the public.”
The planning authority has been carrying out regular trials on the 8.8-km Chembur-Wadala route, which is the first phase of the 20-km Chembur-Wadala-Jacob Circle monorail corridor.
The service trials will include all aspects to be used after the monorail service opens to the public. PRK Murthy, chief of transport and communication, MMRDA, said, “During the service trials, the fare collection system, display boards, security measures and passenger dispersal system will be made functional so we will be able to ensure that the monorail service is ready for commercial purposes. These trials will be carried out for almost 30 days.”
Following the service trials, the Singapore-based SMART agency, appointed as an independent assessor to test and commission the monorail corridor, will carry out inspections and issue a safety certification. Subsequently, a retired commissioner for railway safety (CRS) will carry out another safety certification before the monorail opens to the public.
MMRDA officials said that the Chembur to Wadala corridor is expected to be operational by mid-October. The second phase — the 11.2-km Wadala-Jacob Circle route — is expected to be ready by the end of 2014.