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Mumbai Rail Xperience Lab

Mumbai Rail Experience Lab - MRXL, focuses on studying the nature and behaviour of a high density rail network by unearthing the travel related experiences of commuters. Aim is to collect, document and articulate the concerns of commuters using participatory design research methods. 

Semi structured interviews

This section documents the interviews of rail commuters conducted by IDC students. The experiences are then categorised into relevant sections as new insights emerge, and old ones are reified. These categories are by no means exhaustive, and are intended to continually evolve.
Crowd Related

Women experiencing discomfort due to men

• In some compartments, the ladies section is separated from general (men's) section through a jaali (partition made by steel bars). Once a drunk man got in that compartment (dabba) and he was swearing and talking rubbish. He was looking through the jaali and making weird actions to the women. It was very scary. He was drunk or mad.

• At Andheri, it is so crowded during peak hours (morning 9ish). When I get down from train, everyone would run towards footover bridge because it used to get extremely crowded. Once a man tried to touch me from behind. I don't know if it was on purpose or by mistake. But it was very uncomfortable. I was so annoyed and upset. But I have to use train everyday. Couldn’t do anything. If I would wait thinking crowd will reduce, next train would again bring loads of them.

• I have experienced times where men just want to stick they body part to you. They will not necessarily use fingers but touch by elbow. It is disgusting.

• When station is crowded and I am climbing the stairs at station, I have felt men touching me. I don't know if it was intentional or not, but it was uncomfortable.

• I travel by 1st class ladies compartment. There is gents compartment joined with a jaali in the middle. The men sometimes stare. I feel very uncomfortable, so I turn and sit or not make eye contact with them.

Crowd related other issues by female commuters

• During rush time, there is a crowd of people climbing up the stairs of the footover bridge. I was the one to climb down the stairs. People climbing up occupy the entire staircase. They were murmuring and called me stupid as I was getting down, but even I had a train to catch.

• I was new in the city. Train was very crowded, I got into the ladies coach, I didn't realise it was first class. When I heard someone talking ‘Nowadays first class is also so crowded’, I realised I was in first class. I was nervous about getting fined the entire journey.

• Once I had to get down at Dombivli during peak hours. I was pushed out of the train and fell on the platform. The crowd which was getting down was so insensitive, didn’t even bother or allow me to get up in spite of my screams. It was the worst because I had one leg on the platform and one between the gap of the train and platform.

• One evening while getting down from the train, my kurti tore because of the amount of people pushing to get out of the train.


• I had a lot of heavy luggage with me. I was alone. I somehow climbed the entire foot over bridge. Later I realised there was an elevator and ramp at the same platform.

• I was going to Kurla east. I was on one bridge, not many people were there. It was late in the evening, and kind of shady. I was a little scare and went back. I searched for the main bridge and went from there - F

Wayfinding / Loss of time 

F. Took a foot over bridge at dadar to change platform, got very confused as the path did not go to the platform I needed to go.

F. To identify the East and West directions at stations is very confusing. I went in the wrong direction couple of times.   

F. Always get confused in East and West. Even today I end up going in the wrong direction

F. Someone told me to meet at western exit at Dadar. I was at the western exit, but still couldn’t find the person. Later after so many calls, and asking around I understood there are multiple exits and we both were at different exits. 

F. I stood in the long line for a ticket. When my chance came, they said card is accepted on other counter. I had to stand in the line all over again, ended up missing one train. 

F. I have taken the wrong foot over bridge at Dadar many times. CR to WR is confusing. 

F. On Harbour line I have missed some trains because I couldn't find where the ladies coach is. It is different than CR I think. 

M. Dadar station has multiple entries. I would never understand on which entry the ticket counter is.

M. At CST station I did not know which exit to take to go to fort. I had taken the wrong exit and I was very confused. 

M. I was at Bandra, I had to take the harbour train to Wadala. I climbed the foot over bridge, but it did not go to harbour platform. I did not know that. It wasn't mentioned anywhere. I missed my train and had to wait for 20 minutes for the next train.

Lack of information

• M. I was new in Mumbai. I was fined once because I got into the 1st class. I had the normal second class ticket. I did not know it at that time.  

• M. I had to take a train from Lokmanya Tilak Terminus. I was coming from Vashi to Kurla in local train. I had luggage with me. I got into the second class. I was stuck and could not get down at Kurla. I did not know there was a luggage compartment.

• At Dadar station, I get lost all the time. When I asked people which platform to take, they said 3, I went to 3. But it was not the train I needed. Later realised there are 2 platform 3. (Central Railway & Western Railway)