Most of the inhabitants of Mumbai rely on the city's extensive public transportation network to and from their workplaces due to the lack of parking spaces, traffic bottlenecks and generally poor road conditions, especially in the monsoon.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) around Mumbai is fast developing into a major conurbation. If you need to get to the surrounding cities of Thane, Navi Mumbai or Kalyan, bus services are available.
Buses run from 5AM to midnight. Selected routes run beyond these timings, but much less often. The average frequency between buses ranges from five to 30 min depending on the route. Fares are reasonable and buses can be travelled during peak hours, unlike trains which are far too crowded. Some trunk routes do get extremely crowded, however. Peak hours also have traffic snarls which may depend on the area traversed and the state of the roads.
What connects Electric supply and Transport?
BEST got into transport by starting a tram company. Now, of course, it runs buses that run on diesel & CNG, not electricity. The company is still in charge of electricity distribution for South and Central Mumbai.
Buses are numbered and the final destination is marked on the front in Marathi and on the side in English. Generally, buses around the city and trunk routes would be in the 1-199 series. Buses in the western suburbs would be the 200 series while those plying in the central and eastern suburbs would be in the 300 and 400 series. Services to Navi Mumbai are in the 500 series and buses to the Mira-Bhayander area are in the 700 series.
- Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) provides efficient and comprehensive services connecting all places of the city centre and the suburbs. Some services also link the city with the extended suburbs like Navi Mumbai and Thane. Seats are almost always occupied. There are bus stops all over the city. There is usually a crowd and queue. You have to get in through the rear entrance and off at the front. Tickets are issued by a uniformed "conductor" after you get in. Special seats are marked for "Ladies", "Senior Citizens", "Handicapped", "Expectant Women", and "Women with infants". They can get in from the front. BEST has introduced the "Daily Pass" (Cost ₹50, valid on all BEST non-AC buses; Cost ₹60, valid on all BEST buses, including Air-conditioned bus routes). BEST has launched its app "BEST Prawas" for Android, which contains features like live tracking of buses and ETA of buses. You can also purchase BEST bus tickets and passes using the ridlr app for Android.
- Kalyan Dombivali Municipal Transport (KDMT) operates in the Kalyan-Dombivli Area with a few connections to Navi Mumbai.
- Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC), commonly known as ST, operates services from selected points in the city to the extended suburbs. From Dadar, services to Navi Mumbai and Panvel and from Borivali to Thane are the most prominent. Numerous other important routes are also covered in the MMR by the MSRTC.
- Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport (NMMT) operates services in the Navi Mumbai area and a few points around. They also have services from Mulund in Greater Mumbai.
- Thane Municipal Transport (TMT) operates services in the Thane city and areas around it.
These are a few intra-city ferry services:
- Gateway of India to Elephanta Caves Fast boats and Catamarans operated by private operators. These are moderately priced. This is only way to get to Elephanta Caves.
- Gorai (Borivali) to Gorai Beach Low-cost ferry connecting Gorai Beach/Esselworld.
- Marve Jetty (Malad) to Manori Jetty Cheap ferry (by BEST) connecting Manori and Gorai. Also services for Esselworld (Amusement Park).
- Versova (Andheri) to Madh Jetty Cheap ferry connecting Madh/Erangal/Aksa/Marve.
The Mumbai Metro is the rail rapid transit system serving the city. You can purchase Mumbai Metro tickets from your smartphone using the ridlr app.
|Blue Line1||Operational||Versova||Ghatkopar||The travel time is 20 minutes.|
|Yellow Line2||Partly operational||Dahisar (East)||Dahanukarwadi||The line is still under construction.|
|Red Line7||Partly operational||Dahisar (East)||Aarey Road Junction||The line is still under construction.|
The Mumbai Monorail is the only surviving monorail service in India. It has one line and eighteen stations throughout the city. The fare is between ₹5 and ₹11 depending on your destination station.
- See also: Rail travel in India
Most people travel in Mumbai using the Suburban Rail Network commonly referred to as "Locals". Mumbai has an extensive network, with three lines — the Western Line, the Central Main Line, and the Harbour Line.
- Mumbai is a linear city and the Western Line travels from Churchgate to Dahanu Road via Mumbai's Western Suburbs. The Western line provides North-South connectivity.
- The Central Main Line travels from Mumbai CST (Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus) to Kalyan via Mumbai's Central Suburbs and Thane, with some services running beyond to Karjat, Khopoli, and Kasara. The interchange point between the Western Line and the Central Line is Dadar.
- The Harbour Line has a common stretch between Mumbai CST and Vadala. The harbour line splits into two spurs, the main one running to Mumbai's Eastern Suburbs and Navi Mumbai, up to Panvel. The Interchange point of this line with the Central Main Line is at Kurla. The other spur of the Harbour Line runs up to Mahim on the Western Line and runs parallel up to Andheri. The interchange stations with the Western line are Bandra and Andheri.
Trains on all lines start operations after 4AM and close operations between midnight and 1AM.Second-class travel is very cheap. However, it is advisable to buy first-class tickets as the economy class is extremely crowded. First Class can be quite expensive and if four people are travelling together, a taxi might be better.There would always be queues and it would be advisable to buy coupon booklets. Coupon booklet punching machines are available at all stations and the best thing is you will not have to stand in a huge line to buy a booklet. Another option is to buy a Smart card for Railways. It helps you maintain balance like any gift card with an option to refill it once it goes below the limit. Smart card outlets to buy tickets are available at all stations. They are touch screen based and you can simply follow the instructions to buy a ticket for the right path.
If you are a tourist, you can buy a 'Tourist Ticket'. It costs ₹275 and you can travel in first class compartments of all three lines during the entire day. Ensure the location of the first-class compartment before the train arrives. You may ask fellow passengers or the vendors at the various food stalls. An easier way to spot the location of the First class compartment is to check the station walls painted with red and yellow slant stripes.
Avoid using local trains during rush hour (first class or otherwise). Rush hour is 8:30–10:30AM towards CST and Churchgate and 5:30PM–8:30PM in the opposite direction. If you are travelling during rush hour, don't stand near the railway tracks as you will get swamped by frantic. Take no offence if you are pushed and shoved about, as passengers jostle for a spot. As you near your exit station, ensure that you are as close as possible to the train door, as experienced commuters, will begin the mad run to be first on, or off, the car before the car comes to a full stop. If you stand any chance of getting on/off before the train departs, you must be equally aggressive in your focus to exit/enter, remember no one will take offence if you make contact with others, as you wriggle by. Last, but not least, exiting/entering a train before it comes to a full stop is not something to be taken lightly, one misstep can send a person onto the rails with amazing ease! Leave the stunts to the experienced locals.
There are special coaches for women in both classes. These are designated by green and yellow slant stripes, spot these stripes on the station walls and you'll know where the ladies compartment is. These are generally less crowded and safer. But very late at night, it might actually be safer to travel by the general coach than the first-class women's coach, as the latter may be absolutely empty except for you. From 11:15PM-6:30PM the ladies compartment towards the northern end is open to the general public. Sometimes they have a cop guarding the coaches, but sometimes they won't. Use your judgement.
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Mumbai Suburban Railway
With a length of 430 km, it has highest passenger density in the world, 7.5 million people daily, more than half of daily capacity of Indian Railways. It has four radial lines: Western between Churchgate and Dahanu Road.
One of the affordable modes of transport is the Mumbai rail. It is the lifeline of Mumbai, which works flawlessly day and night and can get you to your destination, on time. Local trains have first, second and AC class options with reasonable ticket fares.
BEST, the iconic Mumbai-based public transit bus service does exactly this - by providing low-cost, efficient transportation to the commercial nerve center of India.