The Devendra Fadnavis-led state government has set a target of introducing the much-discussed and delayed concept of a single ticket for all modes of transport in Mumbai within six months.
Speaking at an interaction with the HT newsroom on Thursday, the chief minister said, “A chief secretary-led committee is working on it, but I am sure we will have a single ticket system in the next six months. Initially it will have some problems, let’s say, it will be for a limited area, but ultimately as the city’s Metro network expands, every three months to six months the single-ticketing system will also expand.”
The single-ticket system is expected to integrate all existing and proposed transportation corridors of Mumbai – the city’s suburban railway system, bus services by the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking, the Chembur-Wadala-Jacob Circle monorail as well as the city’s Metro network.
The state government has drawn a plan for a Metro railway network of 173.9 kilometres in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, including the existing 11.4-km elevated Metro corridor, to come up over the next five years. Besides the existing line that connects Versova and Ghatkopar, the new lines are expected to link Colaba to Seepz, Dahisar to Andheri East and to Mankhurd, Lokhandwala to Kanjur Marg, Wadala to Thane, and Thane to Kalyan. Besides, the state government is also assisting the railways to build elevated corridors from CST to Panvel and from Churchgate to Virar.
Fadnavis said, the network is planned in a circular manner so that all routes, whether on the east, west, north or the south of the city, will be integrated and people will have a public transport solution to travel anywhere in Mumbai.
“On your mobile phone, if you select that you want to go from Virar to Navi Mumbai, it will offer a solution with specific directions saying from one point to another you take the suburban railway, thereafter you will get a Metro, from there you will get a bus. If we offer an end-to-end solution, and if public transport has enough place to sit or stand, I think people will prefer public transport in Mumbai,” the chief minister said.
Until now, all plans for an integrated ticketing system, which has been under discussion for more than half a decade, have hit some or the other road block, with different public transport utilities failing to come to a consensus.
The chief minister-led Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which is implementing a majority of the proposed transportation routes, has recently appointed Transport for London to draw a detailed plan for an integrated ticketing system in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. Transport for London, a wing of the Greater London Authority, is credit with the launch of the Oyster card, a single-ticketing system in London.