Mumbai, India's financial capital, on Monday began accepting riders on the country's first monorail two years behind schedule and which was designed to reduce urban traffic congestion, local media reported.

The monorail operates on a route 8.9 kilometers (5.5 miles) long and was inaugurated on Saturday by Maharastra state's top official, Prithviraj Chavan, but it was not until Sunday morning that Mumbai residents could ride it for the first time, according to NDTV television.

The new public transportation system cost $480 million to build and connects the areas of Wadala and Chembur in the eastern part of the metropolis with trains making stops every 15 minutes at seven stations between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.

When the project, which was begun five years ago, is completed in 2015, it will consist of 20 km (12.5 mi.) of track connecting the southern and eastern portions of the city. Each metro train with its blue, green and pink cars will be able to transport 560 passengers.

Despite being India's economic heart, Mumbai has an antiquated infrastructure, its roadways are heavily congested and the number of passengers riding on its urban train system is triple the stated capacity. EFE