It has been over a week that suburban train services have been opened for all, but at selected timings. Long queues were seen at ticket counters. Kurla, Titwala, Ghatkopar, Mulund and Kasara on the Central Railway (see box) and Andheri, Borivali, Dadar, Nalasopara, Malad and Kandivali on the Western Railway are some of the stations where people turned up in large numbers to buy tickets and/or renew their season passes. Since February 1, the total daily average of commuters on both CR and WR has touched 35 lakh.
Railway officials have been monitoring these railway stations for passengers travelling during non-permitted hours of the day. On February 9, CR sold 3.47 lakh tickets as against the 2.06 lakh tickets sold on January 29. “Interestingly, ticket sales at smaller stations have gone up substantially. Stations like Thane and Kalyan have seen a drop in the number of tickets sold in this period,” said a CR official.
On WR, the number of people buying monthly season tickets has seen a rise as compared to the quarterly passes sold. “The number of people coming to revalidate their season passes and extend them from February 1 has remained consistent. This only means that the number of people taking trains is slowly increasing by the day,” said a WR official.
The next step is to open up travel for all in local trains. “The figures collated give us a fair idea on what to expect in the days to come,” said a senior railway official.