Heatwave In Mumbai: Rising Temperatures Spark Surge In AC Local Train Ridership

Heatwave In Mumbai: Rising Temperatures Spark Surge In AC Local Train Ridership

On April 1st, WR reported a notable uptick in ticket purchases, with 3,561 season tickets and 23,623 journey tickets sold for its AC suburban trains. This surge contrasts starkly with the average daily sales figures for February and March this year.

Kamal MishraUpdated: Tuesday, April 02, 2024, 08:59 PM IST
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Heatwave In Mumbai: Rising Temperatures Spark Surge In AC Local Train Ridership | File

Mumbai: As the mercury climbs in Mumbai, so do the ticket sales for the Western Railway's (WR) air-conditioned local trains, signaling a shift in commuter preferences amid the sweltering heat. On April 1st, WR reported a notable uptick in ticket purchases, with 3,561 season tickets and 23,623 journey tickets sold for its AC suburban trains. This surge contrasts starkly with the average daily sales figures for February and March this year.

Similarly, the Central Railways Mumbai division also witnessed an increase, selling 2,434 season tickets and 16,885 journey tickets for its air-conditioned suburban trains on the same day. The daily average sale of season tickets on CR was 954 and average daily sale of journey ticket was 12466 in the March 2024.

Data provided by WR reveals a steady rise in ticket sales as temperatures soar. In February, an average of 1,431 season passes and 17,922 journey tickets were issued daily, while March saw a slight increase to 1,452 season passes and 17,981 tickets.

"With the onset of summer, a significant number of passengers are opting for AC suburban trains," stated a WR official, highlighting the growing preference for cooler travel options amidst the rising heat.

The recent temperature spike in the city, with a maximum recorded temperature of 34.2 degrees Celsius, has prompted commuters like Ramesh Shah to make the switch to air-conditioned travel. Shah, a regular commuter from Borivali, shared his decision to purchase a monthly season ticket for AC suburban trains on Monday, citing the sudden increase in temperature.

"I usually travel in the first class of non-air-conditioned suburban trains, but due to the heat, I decided to shift to the comfort of the AC local," Shah explained.

Shah's decision reflects a broader trend among commuters, with his entire travel group of six people opting to transition from non-air-conditioned first-class compartments to the cooler confines of AC locals.

Currently, the Western Railway operates 96 air conditioned suburban services between Churchgate and Virar stations from Monday to Friday, and 53 services on weekends. Similarly CRs Mumbai division operates 66 air conditioned suburban services daily during week days.

"Such is the rush during peak hours on these AC locals that Railway Protection Force (RPF) or other railway staff are deployed to manage crowds and close automatic doors, ensuring passenger safety" said an official of WR adding that the surge in AC local train ridership underscores the importance of providing comfortable and temperature-controlled travel options, particularly during Mumbai's scorching summers.

"As temperatures continue to rise, it is likely that more commuters will opt for the convenience and comfort offered by air-conditioned suburban trains, making them an indispensable part of Mumbai's urban transport network" said an official of CR.

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