Navi Mumbai: Over 68,000 Commuters Embrace Metro, Easing Traffic Woes in Just 5 Days

Navi Mumbai: Over 68,000 Commuters Embrace Metro, Easing Traffic Woes in Just 5 Days

Previously reliant on auto-rickshaws, Eco-Vans, and buses operated by NMMT, residents are now opting for the convenience and efficiency of the metro system.

Amit SrivastavaUpdated: Thursday, November 23, 2023, 07:45 PM IST
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Navi Mumbai Metro | Representational image

Navi Mumbai: In a remarkable shift from traditional modes of transportation, over 68,000 commuters have embraced the newly launched Navi Mumbai Metro in the last five days, significantly alleviating traffic congestion in the region. Previously reliant on auto-rickshaws, Eco-Vans, and buses operated by the Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport (NMMT), residents are now opting for the convenience and efficiency of the metro system.

The Traffic Department reports a substantial easing of traffic along the Utsav Chowk to Taloja stretch, which was historically known for vehicular pressure. The impact is particularly noticeable at Hiranandani Chowk along the Sion-Panvel highway, a notorious congestion point during peak hours. Pritam Jain, a resident of sector 10 in Kharghar, attests to the positive change, stating, "Before the commencement of Metro, it was difficult to find parking at Kharghar deck parking. Now, motorists find it easily accessible as a large number of people are commuting through the Metro."

Metro is the most favoured mode of transport

According to CIDCO data, approximately 68,000 commuters have chosen the Metro in the first five days, with an average of around 15,000 people opting for this mode of transportation during the holiday period. Most stations, excluding RBI station, witnessed a daily influx of more than 500 passengers.

Despite the success, a section of commuters has expressed concern over the Metro fare being slightly higher than that of buses. Notably, a queue has formed outside Kharghar Railway station, where a Metro journey from Belapur to Pendhar costs ₹40, compared to NMMT buses charging ₹27 for AC and ₹21 for Non-AC on the same route. However, some commuters find the bus services to be more time-consuming.

An official from the Traffic Department acknowledges the ongoing transition, stating, "Commuters are migrating to the Metro. However, there are still fare-sensitive individuals who continue to use bus services, which is not necessarily a drawback."

Pendhar-Belapur metro line

The launch of the Navi Mumbai Metro's first line from Pendhar to Belapur marks a significant milestone after 12 years of planning. As the city celebrates the success of the inaugural line, commuters are left pondering the fate of the proposed Metro lines 2, 3, and 4.

What are the routes?

Metro Route No. 2 spans 7.12 km from Taloja Industrial Estate to Khandeshwar (via Kalamboli), Route No. 3 covers 3.87 km from Taloja Industrial Estate to Pendhar, and Route No. 4 is proposed to stretch 4.17 km from Navi Mumbai International Airport to Panvel. The future of these expansions is eagerly anticipated by residents and city planners alike.

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