There is some relief in sight for Western Railway commuters, tired of jostling for space daily in overcrowded trains. From 2017, the city’s first underground Metro line, running from Colaba-Bandra till SEEPZ, will be complete, and planners in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) have estimated that it can cater to 10.6 lakh passengers.
This is means that it could relieve the Western Railways of nearly 25% of their passenger load. The WR presently caters to 39 lakh passengers everyday.
The MMRDA has further estimated that by 2025, the Metro’s capacity will increase to 13.87 lakh passengers and by 2031, it will reach 16.99 lakh passengers.
“We hope that once the Metro comes into operation, it will drastically reduce the burden on the existing suburban rail system,” a senior MMRDA official working on the project said.
He added that the MMRDA is also planning to integrate the Metro and the suburban network, by having interchange stations – where passengers can switch between the two networks – at five spots in the city – Churchgate, Mumbai Central, Mahalaxmi, CST and Dadar. “We are planning an interchange station connecting the Metro to the Suburban railway to passengers can jump from one system to another, based on their convenience,” the official said.
The planning agency earlier this week invited suggestions and objections from citizens on the underground Metro project.