Mumbai’s development has been critically reliant on efficient

Mumbai’s
population make an estimated 50% of journeys by feet, and of the residual 50%, a
striking three-quarters of journeys are made using public transport; namely
buses and suburban train (Agarwal, 2013, pp.117). The Indian railways control
the two major zonal railways; Central Railways (CR) and Western Railways
(ibid.). These railways provide suburban trains which are the ‘backbone’ of
Mumbai’s transport system; the city’s development has been critically reliant
on efficient transport systems. Mumbai’s suburban trains were aimed to provide
cheaper, more weather-resistant form of transportation to improve accessibility
to different parts of the city. Indian railway is state-owned and the world’s
largest commercial/ utility employer, with more than 1.6 million employees (Shodh.inflibnet.ac.in,
n.d).

Trains serving the suburbs of Mumbai more than exceed passengers
capacity, particularly on the East- West connections, which are fewer in number
and much less developed in comparison to the North- South connections (Agarwal,
2013, pp.117). Demands for public transport are greater than what can currently
be supplied. Currently, Mumbai Suburban Railway system has a capacity of more
than 7 million passengers per day (ibid.). The system is dangerously congested.
In fact, because carriages more than exceeds capacity, the doors of the train
cannot shut during journeys and passengers are seen hanging out from ongoing
train. Direct implications of this is, high rate of accidents daily on the
train line, both from trespassing squatters and from deaths caused by people
falling of the moving train. All of these lead to disruptions within the socio-technical
system. In addition to high demand, overcrowding on the line is also
attributable to low fare rate, typically one of the lowest in the world
(Agarwal, 2013, pp.117). Accidents on the railway lines cause severe
disruption. These disruptions bear substantial costs for everyday users, for
example, users may experience time and monetary losses as a result (McGeary and Lynn, 1988, pp.308), by increasing the cost
of movement between origin and destination. As the railways continues o be
supplied by the state, it must constantly be maintained and upgraded to avoid a loss of network functionality (Matisziw et al.,
2009, pp.307), arising from inadequate urban infrastructural provisions and
the lack of capacity to accommodate future growth which would eventually
infringe upon urban economic development (McGeary and
Lynn, 1988, pp.308).

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