Mumbai Metro III (Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ)
Mumbai Metro III (Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ)
Image source: Twitter/FPJ

Imagine you are travelling in an underground Metro 3 train and along the way you see a trailer of a new movie/web series/ an advertisement of a watch/while going to an Airport station and see tourism related ads of Incredible India among others playing out on window screen, captivating commuters. It is called in-tunnel advertisement, which is popular in Europe, United Kingdom, Japan, and Korea. If successful here in Mumbai, it will be the first such advertisement technology experimented in the country ever before. At present, the Metro 3 is looking for a consultant which can carry out a feasibility study of all non-fare box revenue including in-tunnel advertisement model.

According to the experts, for in-tunnel advertisement, brands are willing to pay more as compared to static advertisements. It is a higher generating source of revenue for metro. Though it was contemplated by Delhi Metro, Hyderabad Metro, it never happened primarily because nowhere in the country a fully underground metro line is available, only a few stations are underground in some cities.

Therefore, the Mumbai Metro line 3 once ready will be the only line having all stations underground.

An in-tunnel advertising system consists of series of back-lit poster images to create the illusion of a motion picture advertisement screened in the train carriage window. These posters with consecutive frames of a movie are hanged out next to each other on the wall of the underground. When a train passes through them at a certain specified speed, they form a video sequence in the train carriage window.

Vivek Pai, an Urban transport planner said, for public transport revenue has always been a major concern. " Ticketing is one way of revenue but the rates are kept at a minimum so that more and more people are able to use it efficiently. So other modes of revenue generation that include renting out space, station naming, and branding are focused. Like on Metro Line One, the operators are yielding revenue through advertisements. Therefore, for Metro Line 3 as being the longest underground network, I believe in-tunnel advertisement will a good source of revenue. Besides, the metro project is expensive not just the capital cost but also the operation cost. So to minimize the losses such new innovative ways of advertisements would be help recover the cost to some extent."

Reportedly, the underground Metro 3 is planned to be operationalised in two phases. The stretch from Aarey Colony to Bandra Kurla Complex was to be opened by December 2021 and the stretch from Bandra Kurla Complex to Cuffe Parade by mid-2022. However, pandemic-induced lockdown and delay over depot land has eventually extended the timeline of the project. However, despite facing all challenges the metro 3 construction work is going on in full swing. So far over 50 kms of tunneling work has been attained, which is 93 per cent of the total project.

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