A tribe that has historically stuck together—local train commuters—sees a vertical split as a new-age bunch wants more AC locals while oldies hit back saying they can’t afford it
Commuters wait to board an AC local at CSMT. File pic
Local train commuters are now a vertically split lot. “AC trains will not be used well till they are introduced in rush hour. Who would want to use them at odd timings?” said Srinarayan Mehta, a commuter who has been using the suburban AC trains ever since they were introduced. However, Ranjan Kumar Sinha, another commuter, said, “Once an AC local leaves the platform, there is more crowd on the platform for the next regular train. This shows that it is not a good idea to replace regular trains with AC ones.” These two contrasting opinions by Mumbai commuters sum up the plight of Mumbai’s AC trains.
While a new and growing community wants railways to introduce more AC trains even during peak hours, the old and regular commuters are opposed to replacing their regular services. On the other hand, the railways cannot introduce new trains as the system is already at its optimal capacity. Any new train service can only be introduced by replacing an existing one.