The Mumbai Port Trust is all set to introduce water taxi services from mid-November. It will start from the city’s domestic cruise terminal (DCT) at Princess Dock and will enable passengers to reach Navi Mumbai in around 30-40 minutes, instead of one-and-a-hour duration by road.Also Read - Bank Holiday Alert: Banks To Remain Shut For 6 Days From Today | Complete List Here
The Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) is reportedly planning to operate water taxis between Mumbai and Belapur, Vashi, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), and Manwa initially as reported by Hindustan Times. Also Read - Bank Holiday Alert: Banks to Remain Shut For 5 Days in Coming Week | Full List Here
MbPT has shortlisted around six agencies to kick-start the operation of water taxis, of which, a few are already set to start the services soon. MbPT deputy conservator of the marine department- Captain Bhabatosh Chand stated that the charges of the taxi services will be determined by the operator. Also Read - Bank Holiday Alert: Banks to Remain Shut Due to Muharram in These Cities | Full List Here
Since February 2020, there has been a spike in the Ro-Ro (roll-on/roll-off) services between South Mumbai to Alibaug. After the ease in lockdown restrictions and since the services have resumed on August 20, the Ro-Ro passenger services has proved to be a hit among passengers.
According to M2M Ferries Pvt Ltd, which operates the services, more than 5,000 passengers, 1200 cars, 270 two-wheelers, and cyclists have taken a trip on the ferry between August 20 and the first week of September, read the report.
As per the Free Press Journal, talking about profit share between MbPT and the 6 operators, officials replied that there will be a revenue share model but not as such a profit-making business. “It is a public transport service. And since, we are exploring this concept which is new altogether and we don’t know how the response would be. Therefore, the operators are given some freedom. If somebody is investing in a venture that has uncertainties, it needs to be protected until it is established.”
This move by MbPT will prove to be helpful for a lot of commuters who travel on this route daily. The opening of the waterways will reduce the travel time as well as it will help in better maintaining the city’s traffic issue. As it will divert crowd from the primary means of travel and in a way, it will not disrupt the social-distancing norm too.