Only 843 passengers travelled in Mumbai AC local train in 1 month
- The Central Railway introduced 10 AC local trains between CSMT and Kalyan railway stations on the slow railway line corridor. They are operated from Monday to Saturday.
Nearly a month after the Central Railway began operating air-conditioned (AC) local train services for its mainline passengers between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and Kalyan, the service has not been able to gain ridership.
Less than 1,000 passengers travelled by the AC train after it was introduced on December 17, states the data shared by railway officials.
Between December 17 and January 16, only 843 passengers travelled by the AC local train. Of them, 220 passengers were monthly season pass holders and others were single journey passengers. It means, on an average, a meagre 25 to 30 passengers travelled by the AC local train daily in the last one month.
On December 20 and December 25, only three passengers travelled by the AC local train services, according to the daily statistics.
Nearly 5,000 passengers can travel at a time in an A/C train on the route.
The Central Railway introduced 10 AC local trains between CSMT and Kalyan railway stations on the slow railway line corridor. They are operated from Monday to Saturday. The fares of the AC local train are 1.3 times higher than the fares of normal local trains.
Railway authorities have stated that they expect an increase in traffic after local train services resume for the general public.
“We are constantly advertising about the AC local train and seeking passenger feedback. Implementation of feedback from passengers will be done before local train services resume for the general public. We are expecting the number of passengers to increase after the resumption of local train services for all,” said a senior Central Railway official.
Currently, those working in the essential and emergency sectors, cancer patients and differently-abled persons are allowed to travel on local trains. From the third week of October, women commuters have also been allowed to travel in specified hours.
The Central Railway has also started an online survey to find out commuting preferences for the passengers of the AC local train. Passengers were asked to name their preferred travel routes from among CSMT - Kalyan, CSMT- Dombivli, CSMT- Thane, CSMT-Kurla, CSMT- Vashi, CSMT- Belapur, CSMT- Panvel, CSMT- Bandra, CSMT- Andheri and CSMT- Goregaon routes.
With an aim to increase the passenger footfall, the railway authorities have also started approaching offices to encourage staffers to travel on the AC local train.
Passenger associations have claimed that a reduction in the fares of the AC local train for women passengers, senior citizens and students could help in increasing the ridership.
“Employees working in private companies have their commute provided by the companies. Railways could charge first class fare from women, senior citizens and college students to attract more passengers. However, they are likely to increase only after train services reopen for the common people," said Subhash Gupta, president, Rail Yatri Parishad.
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