Travel and Land-Use Impacts of the Mumbai–Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region
Due to high land-use prices inside the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, more people are moving to the outskirts.
Mumbai is the financial capital of India, where the commuter share of suburban rail and city bus systems is greater than 70%. With only one metro line operational, a large network has been planned to ease commuting across the entire Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) by 2025. The initial stretch of the proposed high-speed rail (HSR) from Mumbai to Ahmedabad falls under the jurisdiction of the MMR and includes the three proposed HSR stations at Bandra, Thane, and Virar. We examine the travel and land use impacts of the HSR by applying a four-stage travel demand model, which incorporates all the proposed land use and transport network developments across MMR till 2041, replicating the existing travel behavior. An equilibrium between highway and public transit assignments is achieved in the state-of-the-art transportation planning software CUBE. The HSR corridor with all its intricate details has been coded on to the MMR network, and the variations in the ridership of metro, suburban rail, bus, and other public transport systems with and without HSR have been studied. Due to high land use prices inside the MMR, more people are moving to the outskirts, which is also supported by government schemes relating to providing affordable housing for all. One of these locations is at the Boisar area, just outside the MMR, which is the next HSR station after Virar. We also study the improvement in accessibility of such peripheral areas due to the proximity of an HSR station and the associated impact on the current intense activity areas of the region.