Mumbai: In an attempt to decongest the city’s clogged roads and convince private vehicle owners to use public transport, the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking on 15 December launched airconditioned bus service on three long distance routes.
The new buses manufactured by a Chinese firm Kinglon, seat 46 persons and run on environment friendly Compressed Natual Gas and are said to have better mileage than the existing airconditioned buses. BEST has acquired 20 such buses.
The service was innaugurated by Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh who expressed hope that the new buses would attract business travellers from the suburbs who usually use their cars to get to work.
“Those who travel by car to work can start taking these buses which should reduce the congestion and traffic that is there on the city’s streets presently,” Deshmukh said.
The new buses will be on three routes, one each connecting south Mumbai to the western and eastern suburbs and one linking the eastern suburbs to the western.
The maximum fare on any of the routes, for a distance upto 47.5 kilometres is Rs55.
Two of the buses will run on the Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS) routes. The BRTS scheme which had planned for a high speed bus corridor, has not been implemented as yet.
A dedicated bus lane has also been planned on the Western and Eastern highways but has not been put in practice yet.
The BEST already has an airconditioned bus service which is operational on certain routes.