Mumbai: The Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) is expected to launch a ferry service from Belapur in Navi Mumbai to the Gateway of India, said a senior official on Monday. This will help commuters in spending less time travelling between the northern and the southern end of the city.
On Monday, MbPT inaugurated the Belapur to Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) water taxi service for commuters to travel between Belapur and Uran within 15 minutes. According to a water taxi operator, one small catamaran can contain 65 passengers at a charge of ₹300 for one way and ₹500 for the return ticket
The water taxi services were started in February between Bhaucha Dhakka Ferry Wharf (domestic cruise terminal) and Belapur, but low demand and high charges (one-way cost was Rs 1200) led to their closure. This route was intended to be traversed by speed boats and 65-seat catamarans.
According to an official, the MbPT intends to add 200-seat catamarans on the Belapur-Gateway of India route in order to avoid a similar outcome. He also mentioned that the fare for one way trip will be around ₹400.
A senior MbPT officer also stated that for water taxi services to have reasonable charges, the state government should provide them with subsidiaries. In addition, the issue of last-mile connectivity near the Gateway of India or Belapur jetty can lead to an increase in travel time which can led to the failure of the services.