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Mumbai monorail off to slow start

Mumbai monorail (Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority)

For a city with traffic jams that can last hours and crowded metro trains, a sleek new monorail would seem like a welcome option. But Michael Edison Hayden reports in SmartPlanet that despite the apparent need, phase one of the Mumbai Monorail is off to a troubled start.

The system, which cost $450 million and took seven years to construct, is bleeding nearly a quarter million dollars per month on operational costs. Passenger levels have dipped from about 20,000, when the train launched in February, to 15,000 per day.

At 18 cents a ticket, the cost to ride is as cheap as a subway fare in Mumbai. The problem, Hayden says, is that the monorail stops at stations that brim with factories, but not commuters. Proponents remain hopeful that the monorail will spur economic activity and attract more riders once new lines have been added. 


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