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A sign of normalcy: Mass public transit is finally back

11:54 PM Nov 18, 2021 | Shashank Rao

Mass public transit is surely back. Not only are suburban trains and BEST buses being optimally used after easing of Covid-induced lockdown, the city’s first Metro rail on Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar (VAG) corridor is also witnessing substantial passenger growth. The average daily passenger count until November 12 was 1.67 lakh, which was 95,673 when permissions for easing people’s movement first kicked off on August 15.

In April this year, the Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL) resumed operations on the VAG corridor following all government norms. Currently, the MMOPL is seeing a constant rise in passenger count, with Ghatkopar catering to a daily average of 47,344 passengers, followed by Andheri at 34,736 passengers. Jagruti Nagar caters to the least number at 3,299 average passengers per day.

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Sources said that each of the 12 VAG stations have seen an increasing trend as far as daily footfall of passengers is concerned. Last month, MMOPL catered to a daily average of 1.59 lakh passengers, while in September it breached the 1-lakh mark with 1.22 lakh passengers.

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In July, the daily average was 75,896, which has gone up by 100 per cent now. Back in April, the daily average passenger count stood at 52,985. May was the month that witnessed least daily average footfall at 29,343. Sources in MMOPL stated that ridership in Quarter-1 (April-June) was impacted by the second wave of Covid. They said now there is a steady growth since restrictions have been lifted in phases.

In the suburban section of both Central and Western Railways (CR, WR), the daily passenger count of those who are fully vaccinated is also increasing. The total has touched almost 42-45 lakh passengers per day, with CR catering to 23-25 lakh passengers. Likewise, the BEST Undertaking, too, is being thoroughly utilised. Its 3,300 plus buses are catering to more than 27 lakh passengers on an average every day.

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