India's first monorail project is firmly on track. The first phase of the Mumbai Monorail, which will be open to the public on 2nd February, is expected to chart a new course for Mumbai's suburban transit system.
The monorail project is being implemented in two phases Chembur to Wadala and Wadala to Sant Gadge Maharaj Chowk. The seven stations on the 8.93-km long phase-I of the monorail corridor are Chembur, V.N. Purav/RC Marg Junction, Fertilizer Township, Bharat Petroleum, Mysore Colony, Bhakti Park and Wadala Depot. The Mumbai Monorail fare ranges between Rs 5 and Rs 11.
Meanwhile, once the second phase gets completed by March 2015, it would earn yet another accolade. The 19.17-km Chembur-Wadala-Jacob Circle Monorail corridor will be the world's second longest monorail corridor the longest being Japan's Osaka Monorail corridor, which is 23.8 km in length. While there are 19 stations on the Osaka Monorail corridor, the Mumbai Monorail corridor will have 17 stations.
Cost: The total cost of the monorail project covering the entire 20 km stretch is about Rs 3,000 crore. Of this, Rs 1,100 crore has already been spent on phase 1 and Rs 800 crore to lay the foundation and other initial work for phase 2.
Services: Initially the service will run from 7 am to 3 pm, starting 2nd February. The plan is to gradually extend the timings, so that when the full stretch of 20 km is thrown open, the service will run 19 hours a day.
Frequency between two trains will be 15 minutes when the service kicks off, and will be reduced subsequently to nine minutes, and finally to three minutes, once the entire stretch of 20 km is completed. Within a month, by March, the second shift will start.
Commuters would cover the 8.93 km distance in flat 15 minutes, and would cut down their travel time by a good half an hour.
One train has four coaches and can carry 568 passengers. Six such trains will run in the first phase, and another 10 will be added in the second. Peak passenger capacity will be 20,000 per hour initially, in one direction.