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Old 15th October 2017, 12:51   #1
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Default Bandra-Worli Sea Link: Is it actually faster?

Let me give you a little backstory here. If you want to go straight to the point, you may jump to the 'So my question is...' section below.

Backstory:

I am a 23 year old guy who just got thrown into the real world (took up a job) about a year back. While I stay in the suburbs of Mumbai, my office is in Worli. For a good six months, I travelled by the local train everyday to office. I hated every part of it. The crowd. The rush. The heat. The scramble to get a damn cab outside the station. And the worst of all- every petrolhead's nightmare- not getting to drive regularly. While taking the car was an option, it was not exactly an "affordable" option. It was a luxury.

Come June, I decided that this is it. I NEED to drive to work. Luckily, I found two other colleagues who stayed nearby and we started carpooling to work.

The Routine:

Leave at 8:30 am
Pick up the two colleagues
Hit the WEH (at Andheri) at around 8:55-9 am
Reach Worli via the Sea-link

At first, the sea-link was the obvious option. We took it every day ONLY to get stuck in the traffic that started somewhere past the halfway mark - 10 minutes not surprising. Sometimes even 15-20.

After a while, we all got irritated and started taking the Prabhadevi route. (Thus saving almost 60-90 bucks of our hard-earned peanuts that we call salary )

The Observation:

Surprisingly, we noticed that there was barely a difference of 5-8 minutes (maximum 10-12 sometimes) of travel time.
So basically, I was paying 60 bucks to save 5 minutes.



So my question is...

Thanks a lot for listening to the short backstory of mine. If you haven't, no problemo!

Without digressing further, I just want to ask the TBHPians of Mumbai a few questions -
  • Do you think the sea-link really makes sense in peak hour traffic?
  • Also, do you feel that Mumbai badly needs a similar project (Coastal road etc.) to ease out the traffic?
  • Is there any solution to the terrible bottleneck that is created every morning on the sea-link?
Do share your views on the same.

Regards,

A Mumbaikar frustrated with the traffic.
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Old 15th October 2017, 13:24   #2
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Default re: Bandra-Worli Sea Link: Is it actually faster?

Your story reminded of myself.

Took train for almost a month and gave up due to the same reasons as of yours. Later started taking the car via sea link.
But it proved to be an expensive affair for daily and it was not saving much on time.

One day decided to take the a different route, tried Senapati Bapat marg, and voila.. I reached way earlier. But on a few days there's a market held at Dadar station which increased the time.
So I went straight ahead from the Mahim Church and took a left into lane just after the Portuguese church. Thus bypassing the Dadar station.

After this, I never took the Sealink.
  • Do you think the sea-link really makes sense in peak hour traffic?
    No
  • Also, do you feel that Mumbai badly needs a similar project (Coastal road etc.) to ease out the traffic?
    No
  • Is there any solution to the terrible bottleneck that is created every morning on the sea-link?
    May be.. the completion of the entire project which has been left half might help.
What Mumbai really needs is:
  • Better traffic Management System.
  • Wider roads.
  • Most Important : Roads without potholes.
One more thing, Traffic Manners, but this is something that can not be done at a higher level.
It needs to be learnt and understood by each and everyone who drives or has a license.
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Old 15th October 2017, 17:57   #3
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Default re: Bandra-Worli Sea Link: Is it actually faster?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Impala59 View Post
10 minutes not surprising. Sometimes even 15-20.
I take this route everyday, you are right. As per my calculation it takes average about 12-15mins from Sealink Tollbooth to Worli Seaface!

Quote:
Surprisingly, we noticed that there was barely a difference of 5-8 minutes So basically, I was paying 60 bucks to save 5 minutes.
This is what happens when 4 lanes merge onto 2 lanes! This traffic towards the Worli exit has only started the past 1- 1.5yrs. I do not know why the whole lane on the right is closed/cordoned off by barricades!

Quote:
Do you think the sea-link really makes sense in peak hour traffic?
Sealink during peak hours is pointless. I do not know how the traffic is via Cadell rd/Annie Besant rd, its been ages i took that route.

Quote:
Also, do you feel that Mumbai badly needs a similar project (Coastal road etc.) to ease out the traffic?

Yes, we do! But that is another decade away perhaps!
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Old 16th October 2017, 09:27   #4
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Default re: Bandra-Worli Sea Link: Is it actually faster?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Impala59 View Post
Do you think the sea-link really makes sense in peak hour traffic?
When it comes to rush hour in Bombay, I always say choose the jam you want to sit in. In a 1.5-3 hr commute, 5-10 min wouldn't really matter. There will always be something happening which will slow down your commute. Roll up your windows, turn on the AC, get some good beats and relax. Nothing is going to go faster than that pedestrian.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Impala59 View Post
Also, do you feel that Mumbai badly needs a similar project (Coastal road etc.) to ease out the traffic?
Most definitely needed, however need the designer/architect/civil engineer to have stellar degrees and for them to not end flyovers at red lights (read Mrinaltai Gore flyover, Goregaon, MTNL flyover and about 2 dozen others) or for the road to turn left when people need to turn right (read sea link Worli end).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Impala59 View Post
Is there any solution to the terrible bottleneck that is created every morning on the sea-link?
The arm of sea link that was never built needs to be built and land the people turning right on the correct side of the road.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Impala59 View Post
A Mumbaikar frustrated with the traffic.
As you can sense from the replies above, I am a frustrated commuter as well. As are a number of other Mumbaikers, both on and off the forum.
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Old 16th October 2017, 10:31   #5
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Default Re: Bandra-Worli Sea Link: Is it actually faster?

Neat analysis there . I'll answer the question with a Yes & No.

Yes: The Sealink is definitely faster in low traffic hours (e.g. night time) or when travelling from Worli-Bandra in the evening.

No: As you said. It helps that the Mahim Darga lane is one-way (towards the South) in the morning, and that a lot of North-South traffic has moved to the Freeway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Impala59 View Post
Surprisingly, we noticed that there was barely a difference of 5-8 minutes (maximum 10-12 sometimes) of travel time.
So basically, I was paying 60 bucks to save 5 minutes.
- I think the sealink is shorter, so maybe you saved fuel as well?

- Guess they have a monthly pass too? But it won't be cheaper unless you use it multiple times a day and on weekends.
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Old 16th October 2017, 10:41   #6
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Default Re: Bandra-Worli Sea Link: Is it actually faster?

There is a similar contraption in Bangalore as well.
It is the Silk Board-EC Elevated Road (10Kms).
Thanks to the poorly planned Toll collection mechanism, the time saved by this 10Km long flyover is hardly 5 minutes.
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Old 16th October 2017, 11:16   #7
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Default Re: Bandra-Worli Sea Link: Is it actually faster?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Impala59 View Post

Do you think the sea-link really makes sense in peak hour traffic?
  • Also, do you feel that Mumbai badly needs a similar project (Coastal road etc.) to ease out the traffic?
  • Is there any solution to the terrible bottleneck that is created every morning on the sea-link?
As far as I can see, there is no solution to this. I have seen that every new project which comes up in Mumbai works well for few years and then things become bad again. This is not a fault of the project but rather the reality of Mumbai. It is overcrowded and there is no solution to it. When the sealink was started people were skeptical about its feasbility, fearing that people will not pay much to use it. If you see now, the sea link is crowded during peak hours.

Going by road in Mumbai is becoming a nightmare. I have been traveling by Mumbai local for 6 years now. I feel trains are a) Reliable b) Cheap c) Punctual (given a margin of 10 minutes here and there) but not convenient at all.

I know you have tried traveling by trains and given up. I too would have done the same but for me, minimizing travel time is essential that too at low cost.

Please note that if I am traveling with family/wife, I avoid trains 99.99% of the time. Train traveling is strictly for me! Just look at how crowded the ladies compartment of a local train is and you will never let your family travel in a train. I always tell my sister/wife/mother to avoid trains as much as possible.
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Old 16th October 2017, 11:20   #8
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Default Re: Bandra-Worli Sea Link: Is it actually faster?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Yes: The Sealink is definitely faster in low traffic hours (e.g. night time) or when travelling from Worli-Bandra in the evening.

I think the sealink is shorter, so maybe you saved fuel as well?

Guess they have a monthly pass too? But it won't be cheaper unless you use it multiple times a day and on weekends.
Night time : Agreed, its faster and much more scenic at night.
Shorter : Just checked google maps after your post and the difference is hardly 1-2 kms.

If we consider that cars have increased in last few years and even then time to travel by Sea-Link and Mahim road is same, then authorities have found a short term solution and Sea-link has been partially successful ( ie in short term ) IMO.
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Old 16th October 2017, 11:42   #9
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Default Re: Bandra-Worli Sea Link: Is it actually faster?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Impala59 View Post

I just want to ask the TBHPians of Mumbai a few questions -
  • Also, do you feel that Mumbai badly needs a similar project (Coastal road etc.) to ease out the traffic?
  • Is there any solution to the terrible bottleneck that is created every morning on the sea-link?

Regards,

A Mumbaikar frustrated with the traffic.
IMO, more infrastructure will just attract more people to cities like Mumbai, Pune making that infrastructure insufficient, very quickly.

Long term solution IMO is to create good employment opportunities and good educational facilities in smaller towns. This will improve the quality of life and also save cost.

And let us think: how much more infrastructure will we be able to create in towns in the budget of one sealink?

Unless we do this, there can be no end to our traffic frustration.

Last edited by GTO : 17th October 2017 at 08:36. Reason: typo
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Old 16th October 2017, 13:07   #10
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Default Re: Bandra-Worli Sea Link: Is it actually faster?

Can't really make have an opinion on it cause I don't commute everyday. But only yesterday(Sunday) and that too in the afternoon, I took the Pranhadevi Road via Mahim. It took me about 25 mins. I returned via the Sealink in 10. I do know that it can be a snarl in everyday jams. Bombay badly needs to up its game in terms of Road Infrastructure for being a world class city. There are many in the pipeline like the Coastal highway from Norman Point to Kandivli, the Sewree to Nhava Sheva Sea link also connecting to the proposed New Airport. BPT also wants to develop the docks for something snazzy. Wonder when these projects will see the day of light as the current sea link and eastern freeway took a better part of 2 decades from the time they were proposed to them being operational. Adding these new projects to the current road network is absolutely critical to keep things moving in Maximum City.
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Old 16th October 2017, 17:40   #11
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Default

Frankly it doesn't make any difference at all. It merely exists to enjoy a traffic & pothole free ride for a few mins for which we have to pay a premium. Otherwise, it's an absolute waste. The merging at Worli being the total design disaster that is.

I still don't understand, despite having such a great natural wharf, there's zero investment or thoughts for developing water transport. It can prove cheaper, faster but the authorities think otherwise. Sad!

Last edited by theMAG : 16th October 2017 at 19:25. Reason: Back-back posts < 20 mins. Please EDIT moving forward.
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Old 16th October 2017, 18:06   #12
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Default Re: Bandra-Worli Sea Link: Is it actually faster?

As an outsider to what I still know as Bombay, I felt like that awestruck simpleton gaping upwards at skyscrapers when I passed through Parel around midnight. The next day I was travelling towards Bandra and got stuck in traffic for a while. On my way back towards town, I thought of avoiding the traffic by using the sealink (and the logical way after crossing the bridge towards Worli). For some reason, after a part of the bridge some lanes were blocked off. I am not sure if that is a temporary thing or not. To make things worse, there is some brilliant scheme of getting people to drive in circles after the bridge ends. I don't see how any bridge can be useful if it has such bottlenecks at one end in terms of design.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saanil View Post
Please note that if I am traveling with family/wife, I avoid trains 99.99% of the time. Train traveling is strictly for me! Just look at how crowded the ladies compartment of a local train is and you will never let your family travel in a train. I always tell my sister/wife/mother to avoid trains as much as possible.
Sir; I am sure if you ask the womenfolk they would recommend the same to you. Considering the safety aspect at least.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coolmel View Post
I still don't understand, despite having such a great natural wharf, there's zero investment or thoughts for developing water transport. It can prove cheaper, faster but the authorities think otherwise. Sad!
Why should we take our vehicles or people to the water when we can bring the water to our vehicles and roads?

Urban infrastructural and transport planning is barely done with any expertise or by any trained people. Even if it is, local and political compulsions ensure things are implemented with extremely short term and narrow objectives

Last edited by selfdrive : 16th October 2017 at 18:12. Reason: corrected typo
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Old 16th October 2017, 18:26   #13
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Default Re: Bandra-Worli Sea Link: Is it actually faster?

During morning rush - it makes no sense to use the Sealink from Bandra to Worli; whereas Worli to Bandra is still a good choice as you save considerable amount of time (esp with the ETC tag).

During Evening rush - Both options save me time, but the difference is reducing significantly for the Bandra to Worli side v/s normal route - not only is there a small jam towards the end of the link - but the Worli junctions are also a pain (both - nature's basket junction, and the Atria junction).

The biggest reason for this though is the awkward end, where 4 lanes have to merge into 2. If they do extend the sea-link, they need to plan it properly to ensure that it actually maintains a sustainable advantage. Instead of thinking of getting a line at Neapensea road (already crowded), they should concentrate on extending the link to Nariman Point/Marine Drive (where an 8 lane road would be easier to construct) and letting the crowd split from there on.

The real value is when you're travelling at any other time (except late night because then too the difference is a few minutes depending on your destination).
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Old 16th October 2017, 18:38   #14
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Default Re: Bandra-Worli Sea Link: Is it actually faster?

I live in Bandra and work in Lower Parel and more often than not, I really see no point in using the sea link during peak hours. It usually is a bit quicker to take Tulsi Pipe road from Mahim and hopefully once the potholes at Dadar have been sorted out (if ever), you should save another 5 to 10 minutes there.

I'd like to think that the proposed coastal road will make things better, but I don't see that happening. I mean, you could probably make good time on that, but what happens when you get off that and have to drive on the already congested, narrow roads that exist in the city.

Last edited by JoshuaS : 16th October 2017 at 18:40. Reason: Incorrect word used
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Old 16th October 2017, 18:40   #15
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Default Re: Bandra-Worli Sea Link: Is it actually faster?

Those proposed flyovers, freeways and link roads will come down to nothing unless ever rising population is curbed. As that is a different topic in itself, for me one way of reducing traffic bottleneck is by changing office timings of back/administrative offices situated in the city. My company(situated in BKC) had changed office start time from 10 AM to 9 AM last month and results are spectacular to say the least.
I fail to understand why any office which is not directly dealing with Indian customer needs to be opened at 10 AM.
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