Mumbai local trains unlikely to resume regular services before November, say sources

While the state government has eased most of the coronavirus-related restrictions in the state, economic activity has not picked up in Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai and other nearby cities primarily because local trains are still not available to the...

Mumbai: The wait for Mumbai’s ‘lifeline’ local trains to resume regular service may get longer. The Maharashtra government, which in consultation with the railways had suspended local train services in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) in March to contain the spread of Covid-19, is not planning to allow resumption of regular services before the end of October, people aware of the matter told ET.

At present, authorities are running only curtailed services for government employees and those involved in health care and other essential services.

While the state government has eased most of the coronavirus-related restrictions in the state, economic activity has not picked up in Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai and other nearby cities primarily because local trains are still not available to the public.


The local trains--the only mass transport system for Mumbai and the MMR region--transport hundreds of thousands of people to and from work every day. Their unavailability continues to affect the establishments which were expected to begin functioning after the lockdown measures were eased.

Several officials told ET that they do not see local trains running before November. “We are still getting around 2,000 cases per day in Mumbai, which was earlier on the mend. There are more cases being reported from Thane, Navi Mumbai, so there is no chance of opening up of local trains now. There hasn’t even been a discussion on this,” said an official.

Another official said that resumption of regular train service is the last thing the authorities are likely to consider at this point. “We opened up districts and allowed people to travel to their native places during Ganesh utsav, and look at the increase in cases. Until a vaccine comes, or till we bring down the cases in Mumbai and its outskirts to manageable levels, there is no chance of allowing commuters to use local trains till then,” said the official.
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While the Centre has allowed metro rail services to resume operations from this month, the Maharashtra government has kept the service suspended. On Monday, Delhi resumed metro rail service on one of its many sections.
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