Free Press Journal

Mumbai: BEST gets new buses with hi-tech features


These buses have add-ons like a machine to remove excess humidity and odour from inside the vehicles, as well as charging points.

Mumbai: The commuters in South Mumbai will soon be able to travel in the new Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) buses from Friday.

These buses have features like a machine to remove excess humidity and odour from inside of the buses (forced ventilation), charging point and enough room for leg space for commuters.

At least three such buses will operate from Backbay Depot in Colaba from Friday onwards. The undertaking is set to procure 303 such buses from Tata Motors at a cost of Rs 51 lakh each in next four months.

“At least 30 new buses will be procured by March end and they will be open for public use. The three procured buses are being registered under the respective Regional Transport Office (RTO) after the dealers dispatch the buses,” said Suresh Pawar, Assistant General Manager (AGM), Transport Division of BEST.

These buses have an automatic gear box which would help the commuters to avoid getting a jerk, which otherwise happens when the commuter travels in the regular buses.

The modern buses will be 12-meter-long with a separate charging point for conductors to charge their ticketing device.

The commuters were glad to know that the buses had finally arrived after months of delay.

“It is a huge task to reach the exit point of the bus while travelling in crowded buses. With more leg space in the new buses, half of our problem will be solved as it will become easier to make space in the crowded bus in order to alight at our stop,” said Sheetal Kulkarni, who travels daily to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) from Backbay bus depot.

Few commuters also said that the frequency of the buses needs to be improved. Procuring new ones is not enough.

“The new facilities are like mobile charging point and forced ventilation are attractive. However, it is more important that the BEST bus drivers stick to their timings as they are not always punctual,” said Sanjay Salunkhe, another daily commuter.

The buses were to arrive by December 2016, which have been delayed owing to pending approval from the agencies.