Mumbaikar is the breed of human beings who live in one of the busiest cities in the world. They are born and brought up in Mumbai. If you are one of them you know travelling is the gist of everything they do, let it be work, fun, outing or even when they feel lost. You can’t be a Mumbaikar if you haven’t traveled in this luminous city of dreams. With abundance of public transport options like trains, buses, monorail, metro, taxi, Ola, Uber, car for hire and auto’s. These travelling options are a source of employment for many people in Mumbai and convenience for others. So, let’s take a look at five things Mumbaikars secretly wants when while travelling:
Air Conditioned Rides
Mumbai is one of the most humid places in Maharashtra. It’s a place where summer never truly ends. The seasons in Mumbai are different kinds of summer. There is the pre-monsoon summer, post monsoon summer and of course the real summer season. Humidity in Mumbai ensures that you will sweat no matter what, even if you stand in queue for tickets or you are stand in-route while travelling in bus or train. So, AC in the mode of travelling is a wish of most of the Mumbaikars.
While, metro and mono-rail provide air conditioned rides, but the main stream transport like train and bus need this. The AC BEST buses are a probable solution. Unfortunately, many of them were scrapped because of the losses they incurred in the last financial year. On the brighter side, Mumbai locals will soon get air conditioned with the Indian Railways department actively working towards it. I hope soon all Mumbaikars travel in air conditioned mode of transport on their way to work. The car pool services like Uber and Ola provide fair AC car rides. Although, they aren’t wallet friendly always.
Well, aside from air conditioned way of travelling, there should be a certain comfort level for travelling. The ugly side of travelling in Mumbai is the how over crowded its public transports are most of the times. This makes Mumbaikars wish for basic comfort like seats when they travel in Metro, bus and train. Mumbaikars in Local trains have went as far as being seated in arrangements of 4 in places of 3 (a phenomena which I would like to term as compromise seat). The worst part is people sit in passage of train’s rakes making it impossible to get in and out of train. While I hate it when this happens but one can’t deny that this is a cry for basic comfort in public transport.
Window seats are just a luxury. If you get one, it will be surely be accompanied by a kid standing near it. Windows seat may sound childish but once you get it there is no place like it (let it be train or bus). This is why people risk their lives and hang-out on side train rakes just to get the breeze with music in their ears. Many argue hanging out side train is better than window seat but these are just the people who like a lot of adventure in their life(it’s risky don’t do it).
Avoiding Unnecessary Wars
Loud, abusive and foul language has become a companion for many Mumbaikars while they travel (especially in local trains). I will explain how. So let’s take a small situation- a Mumbaikar is having a bad day. He just wants to sulk in the corner seat until he makes it home but to his dismay train is crowded. Now, he asks for a compromise seat (arrangement of 4 people sitting in place of 3) but one of the seated passengers bluntly refuses leading to a war of words.
Further, sometimes the crowd goes beyond capacity of the train rake, but some travelers can’t afford be late. So, they break all the laws of physics; make people hug each other in train, make passengers put their bags on their head to make place for the late desperate traveler and worst of all they push passengers with all the force. If this doesn’t lead to a war, an argument in train I don’t know what will?
Sadly, there are one million more reasons for arguments and getting violent. While travelling, these pointless fights are something most Mumbaikars never wish to come across but some sick people enjoy this. Sad state of society is a topic for another day but these pointless arguments shouldn’t be a part of us Mumbaikars travelling.
This one is a no brainer, right? Everyone needs a connection to internet for various purposes and it has become a necessity. Mumbaikars heavily depend on Wi-Fi for getting their work done. Their travel time maybe variable but it is utilized perfectly by them. Some read, some work on laptop, some sleep (and some click pictures of them while they sleep), some watch movies and some just listen to music for relaxation (BTW, I have completed assignments while travelling).
Wi-Fi makes all these task easier. There is free Google Wi-Fi around few central and western stations but it is not everywhere making it unfair. Wi-Fi in a train rake would have a dream come true but the implementation of Wi-Fi across stations isn’t bad either. Hopefully, it is expanded soon.
A smooth Journey
The listed factors are many of the important one’s to ensure smooth travel experience. Although, there are other factors like frequency of public transport, crowd during travelling, faster ways to get tickets for travelling and avoiding the overall delay on daily basis. The authorities have burden of debts especially the Indian railways department. They have incur losses due to the many passengers not buying tickets, few incidents of accidents and heavy maintenance.
Thankfully many of the listed factors are being already undertaken to be developed in future. While there could be less traffic, fewer delays, making sure no passenger cheats their way out by not buying ticket and easier way of getting tickets. We can always buy tickets for local train online and smart card is another option but neither being hassle free. Smart card requires a minimum balance to be maintained. The online booking site makes less sense as paying 10-20 rupees online for a ticket defeats the purpose. Smooth journey is possible if you travel in odd timings of day and Boarding at source station or getting down at last stop.
I will be lying if I told you that travelling is a good experience. Some grew to hate it eventually but it is source of saving time and money. It is improving and we, Mumbaikars can improve it even more by general things like buying tickets when travelling, not trying to hang out of train unnecessary, not crossing rail tracks, not speeding and cutting lanes on roads, using carpool to minimize traffic while the respective departments work on increasing frequency, reducing delay and traffic.
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