Metro Services Resume In Mumbai, Ridership Low On Day 1
Representational image: Traffic travels on the Western Express Highway as a train travels across the cable-stayed Metro Bridge on Line 1 in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)  

Metro Services Resume In Mumbai, Ridership Low On Day 1

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Services on the financial capital's Metro rail began on Monday after remaining shut for nearly seven months due to the coronavirus pandemic, with a tepid response from the passengers.

The over 11-kilometre line, which connects Ghatkopar in northeast Mumbai with Versova to the northwest West, is estimated to have seen ridership of over 10,000 passengers as of 8:30 p.m., which pales when compared to the daily ridership of over 4.5 lakh.

The Mumbai Metro One is running services for a limited period of time, insisting on social distancing by limiting the number of people carried in a single coach to 260 people during the reopening.

The local trains, which act as a feeder to the Metro line and being operated only for the essential service workers, may also have had an impact on the ridership, according to experts.

Last week, the government, which is yet to take a call on restarting the local trains for all, gave the nod for services on the access control-enabled Metro line to start from Oct. 15, and the company operating the line decided to start services from Monday after conducting trial runs.

While the Covid-19-related protocol is being followed strictly, many commuters had issues with prepaid cards that had expired due to non-usage for over six months, officials said. Such commuters had to get the cards operational by visiting specified counters, they added.

Services began at 8:30 a.m. and shut at 8:30 p.m., officials said. Usually, the metro line is shut for over five hours only.

Over 300 workers had been working on the upkeep of the line and the railway stations through the lockdown period. Over 30 of those had got infected and only four of them are live cases.

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