As the city's latest showpiece, Mumbai Metro, continued to attract huge crowds on the second day of its inauguration, commuting on the roads was a smooth affair. The distance between Andheri and Ghatkopar which usually takes around an hour during the morning rush hour could be covered in just 30-35 minutes on Monday.
Fewer people opted for rickshaws or buses as they wanted to enjoy the experience of travelling on the latest mode of transport. While 2.4 lakh people travelled on the Mumbai Metro on the first day, the figure shot up to 2.45 lakh on Monday. A Mumbai Metro official told dna: "The joyriders will be there for a fortnight or so."
Unlike Sunday, there were no delays and trains ran as per schedule – one every four minutes. There were some teething problems though like managing an overenthusiastic crowd, invalid tokens and smart cards.
It was difficult to handle the crowd at the platforms at Ghatkopar, Versova and Andheri stations. The platform size at Andheri station - an interchange location with the Western Railway's station – is relatively narrow to accommodate passengers. Entry gates of the Ghatkopar metro station had to be shut at regular intervals to allow limited crowds at a time.
The paid areas of concourse levels were relatively empty compared to the free areas which have the ticketing and security check facilities. "Once the system stabilises and the ridership is less, managing the crowd won't be that difficult," the official said.
The customer service staff and assistants also had a tough time updating invalid tokens and smart cards or replacing the faulty ones. Hundreds of tokens and smart cards were replaced on Monday due to technical issues.
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