The long awaited Mumbai Metro, which was inaugurated on June 8 has won over many commuters who have been using other modes of transport. Travellers were impressed by the large stations, escalators and the courteous staff. Commuters felt that this was the cheapest mode of travel and a real blessing due to the air-conditioned service, given the city’s humid and hot weather. An indication of the number of commuters switching over to the metro was the over 40,000 smart cards sold by the Mumbai Metro One Private Ltd (MMOPL) on the second day of operations.
About 2.4 lakh passengers had travelled on the Metro on the first day, the highest first-day ridership of all metro projects in India according to the MMOPL. According to Metro officials, the service is expected to have a considerable impact on decongesting the Andheri railway station which has emerged in recent times as Mumbai’s busiest transit point, with commuters not having to seek out alterative, connecting transport. Another positive effect expected is the relief commuters travelling from Andheri to Ghatkopar would get from auto rickshaw and taxi drivers refusing to ply and charging exorbitant fares, with many commuters already deciding to switch over to the metro service. BEST plans to introduce 16 short distance feeder routes which will connect to the various metro stations. It will also discontinue some long distance services which have already seen many commuters switching over to the metro.