The much-awaited Gateway-Belapur ferry services will start on Tuesday. One-way ticket will cost INR 250 for a lower deck seat and INR 350 for an upper-business class deck seat for the hour-long journey – almost half of the INR 450-500 that a taxi would charge for a road trip on the same route which takes more than two hours.
State Ports Minister Dadaji Bhuse will flag off the ferry, NAYAN XI, from Belapur at 8.30 am in the presence of local MLA Manda Vijay Mhatre. Officials said the first ferry will sail from Belapur jetty at 8.30 am and reach the Gateway of India at 9.30 am. The return trip from the Gateway will be at 6.30 pm and touch Belapur jetty at 7.30 pm.
Mhatre said, “I had been following up the project with Maharashtra Maritime Board since the day it was conceptualised. Daily commuters between Navi Mumbai and Mumbai will no longer have to encounter traffic snarls and pollution. The frequency will be increased once the ferry service picks up pace.”
Infinity Harbour Services, a private water taxi operator, is the operational and commercial partner for Nayantara Shipping Pvt Ltd (NSPL). NAYAN XI, owned by NSPL, has a seating capacity of 200 – 140 on the lower deck and 60 passengers on the upper-business class deck.
For ticketing and online sales, NSPL has collaborated with MyBoatRide.com. “To ensure last-mile connectivity from Belapur station, share-autos are available for the commute to the jetty at INR 10. And from the Gateway of India to Churchgate and CSMT, share-taxis and BEST buses are available,” said an official.
Nerul resident Saurav Das said the ferry service was the need of the hour due to heavy traffic congestion on roads. “A Belapur-Mumbai round taxi ride costs more than INR 1,000, while the two-way business class ticket for the ferry is INR 700,” said Das, adding that citizens will also save travel time by an hour.