Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Saturday inaugurated the monorail in Mumbai. The major new addition to the city's public transport system will be made available for public use on Sunday. Just a few weeks ago, the new international terminal of the Mumbai airport was made operational. The Maharashtra government, which is up for re-election later this year, is ensuring that big new facilities are made available before the national election, due by May.
Here is your 10-point cheat-sheet to the Mumbai mono-rail:
- The part that opens on Sunday is 8.93 km long.
- It will run between Wadala and Chembur in the eastern fringes of Mumbai.
- The monorail will be linked to major local train stations. So the station at Chembur is connected with a skywalk to the monorail station near it.
- To start with, the monorail will run every 15 minutes between 7 am and 3 pm.
- When the entire monorail project is completed, it will be 20 km long and connect Jacob Circle in south Mumbai to Chembur in eastern Mumbai.
- All coaches of the monorail trains are air-conditioned; each train will carry 560 passengers.
- Tickets are priced between Rs. 5 and Rs. 11 with six stations on the way.
- There will no monthly passes like the ones on Mumbai's lifeline, the local trains, but there will be a system of smart cards.
- Construction began in 2009; the project is running almost two years behind schedule.
- At its fastest, the monorail will run at 80 kilometres per hour (50 mph); the average speed is set at 65 kilometres per hour (40 mph).