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Blog Entry# 3712369
Posted: Aug 14 (18:32)

1 Responses
Last Response: Aug 14 (18:33)
Rail News
IR Affairs
ML/Mumbai Local
Aug 14 (18:32)   Home-to-station commute now longer than time spent on train from suburb to town

a2z~   12927 news posts
Entry# 3712369   News Entry# 350989         Tags   Past Edits
Goregaon to south Mumbai is just a 50-minute train journey, any newbie to Mumbai is told referring to the western suburb over 30 km from Churchgate. However, those living even a few kilometres from Goregaon railway station would say it’s only half the story. For, residents of areas such as Mantri Park and Nagari Nivara take 45 minutes-1 hour to reach the station just 4.5 km away.
On the other side, Arvind Godbole, a resident of Kolshet, around 6 km west of Thane station, says it sometimes take up to an hour to reach the station. “It is frustrating sometimes spending more time in reaching the station than from Thane to CSMT by fast train—a 50 minute journey to cover 33 km,”
Godbole said.
Ask anyone who has to take a bus or autorickshaw to reach a station, and the common refrain is that the travel by local train is smoother and faster than covering the distance to the station by road. The problem starts right from the time when one steps out of home. Getting an autorickshaw is a challenge-—many auto drivers refuse to ply to stations—and buses are crowded. And then the delay due to traffic snarls, especially near stations—a common phenomenon across Mumbai.
The commute to work or college has come to occupy the maximum time behind work and sleep in the lives of many Mumbaikars. In fact, some end up spending one-fourth of their day on the road. Like Swapneel Deshpande, a marketing professional from Ghodbunder Road who works in south Mumbai. He leaves home at 8 am only to reach his office around 11 am. “I have been driving on the route for years, but the travel time has increased by about 30 minutes one way during the last month,” he said.
A TOI data analysis of 102 road stretches found a motorist could not touch 20kmph at 76 spots during morning peak hours (8-11 am) on weekdays last week. The average speed was below 20kmph at 86 stretches during evening peak hours (6-9pm).
The traffic nightmare has forced stockbroking firm employee Rajesh Ashar to stop driving to work as it was taking him over two hours to reach BKC from Borivali. “Infrastructure projects such as Metro work have reduced the lanes on the Western Express Highway as well as the Link Road. But it’s the violation of rules by heavy vehicles that is most annoying,” said Ashar. Heavy vehicles are not allowed on the WEH during peak hours. “But you will see inter-city Volvo buses at all hours, with long queues of vehicles behind them,” he added.
The other culprits are the increase in vehicles, potholes in monsoon, illegal parking and traffic indiscipline. The recent closure of major bridges is further adding to the existing congestion on streets. According to the regional transport office, there are 1,725 vehicles per km of Mumbai's roads and going by the trend, there will soon hardly be any space left. “The traffic on road is bursting at its seams. With metro work and potholes, the situation is only worsening," said A V Shenoy of Mumbai Mobility Forum. “I feel the Metro 7 (Andheri East-Dahisar East) will bring relief to those traveling between Borivli and Andheri. I am not sure whether it will reduce private cars or even two wheelers as these motorists are used to door-to-door travelling. For example, on the existing Metro 1 (Versova-Ghatkopar) corridor, the Andheri-Saki Naka traffic on road is as bad as earlier.”
Sandeep Ohri, who says his travel time between his Thakur Complex home and BKC office has increased, said work on Metro VII has only added to the stress of commuting. “Auto drivers and two wheelers crisscross through metro pillars… An entire lane has been lost to the metro,” he said.
But traffic cops say they can only do so much. They have been instructed by superiors to not get into conflicts with errant motorists and instead let them go after noting down their vehicle registration number. “Certain motorists boast of having VIP contacts and drop names to scare personnel into dropping charges. Some end up roughing up the traffic constable," said a senior officer.
A motorist said, “The problem lies with everyone thoughtlessly just wanting to get ahead. We need better (not more) roads, thoughtfully deployed road furniture and signals, better policing to re-instill traffic and parking discipline, and better traffic protocols to establish right-of-way.”(With inputs from Somit Sen, Nitasha Natu and Vinamrata Borwankar)

1 Public Posts - Tue Aug 14, 2018

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