The year 2021 is ending on a positive note for the Western Railway (WR). People seem to be finally adapting to the air-conditioned (AC) local trains at least on the WR route of Churchgate-Virar. According to the WR authorities, there has been an increase in the number of passengers travelling in AC locals over the past few weeks especially this year vis-a-vis last year, which went in Covid induced lockdown.
As per the figures made public by the Western Railway authorities, in this month itself, from December 1-14, nearly 1.08 lakh passengers travelled in AC locals after more services were added by WR by November end.
The WR has sold 5641 journey tickets and 2,077 season tickets generating revenue of Rs 47.45 lakh during this period.
The least number of journey tickets for AC local was sold on December 5 at 133, while they sold 586 tickets on December 10 which is the highest this month. The most number of monthly season tickets were sold on December 8 which was 242 MSTs, while they sold 58 MSTs on December 12 that was the least.
In the previous months, more than 5.77 lakh passengers travelled in AC local on WR during this year. For this, they sold 14,780 journey tickets and 11,288 MSTs, thus generating revenue of Rs 2.36 crore. In this calendar year, the WR ferried a total of 6.86 lakh passengers.
"The cumulative figures during the same period last year was 3.18 lakh passengers. There is a positive growth in the number of people travelling in AC locals," said a WR official.
Last year the cumulative sales of daily tickets stood at 12,005 and 13,001 MSTs while ferrying 3.18 lakh passengers. The Western Railway introduced eight more AC local train services earlier last month, taking the total to 20.
Of these eight new services, four each are in the "Up" and "Down" directions and two of the trains will operate during peak hours. For the first time, these AC locals are being run on the slow track lane as well.
The railways are mulling allowing any ticket holder be it First or Second Class traveller to commute in AC local and they can pay the difference to the ticket checker inside. However, this is yet to receive official permission.