In addition to the metro, the city’s public transport may get another boost with the launch of speedboat taxi service that could link Mumbai with Thane, Navi Mumbai, and Alibaug as early as October this year.
Once launched, the water taxi could bring down the travel time of thousands of commuters, who currently rely on road or rail transport, down by up to 50 percent.
A total of five speedboats, at an estimated cost of Rs 5 crore each, will be procured jointly by the Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB), Cidco, Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT), the transport department, and JNPT.
Each speedboat will have a minimum capacity of 20 passengers.
Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) will act as a consultant for preparing the specifications and buying the boats. Factors like route, depth, safety, etc will be considered before floating the tenders.
According to a report in the Times of India, the service will operate from the domestic cruise terminal at MbPT and reach destinations like Mandwa near Alibaug, Thane, and Belapur in around 30 minutes.
The list of destinations could include Thane, Airoli, Vashi, Nerul, Belapur, the upcoming airport in Panvel, JNPT, Mandwa, Karanja and Kanhojee Angre.
The fares for the service are expected to be in line with that of regular taxis.
“If a commuter currently travels between Fort and Belapur in Navi Mumbai by spending around Rs 550 one way, a similar fare will be charged for the speedboat taxis. However, the speed of these taxis will virtually bring down travel time to 30-40 minutes against around an hour and a half by road taxis,” an official told the daily.
The service will operate as a ‘state transport boat taxi’ with a fixed route.
Meanwhile, a roll-on and roll-off (Ro-Ro) service is also expected to start between MbPT and Alibaug before the end of this year. The Ro-Ro ship will have space for 10 buses, 40 cars & 250 passengers and cut travel time from the current 3 hours to 1 hour.
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