The Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking stated that most of the buses running on the long distance routes will be pulled back from its service, once suburban locals resume operation in full scale. Buses on these feeder routes run point to point services connecting railway stations with commercial zones and residential areas of the city.
Following the lockdown imposed amid the pandemic outbreak in March, the red buses of BEST have emerged to become the lifeline of Mumbai. Due to the unavailability of trains, the BEST management has increased the frequency of its buses running on the north south corridor of the city. Many of the buses have also connected Mumbai with some of the adjoining satellite cities as well.
"The number of buses running on long distance routes will be reduced after trains start operating in full scale in Mumbai. All these buses will be pressed on short feeder routes that provide last mile connectivity to passengers," said an official.
He informed that after trains start operating, passengers who are taking these long distance bus routes will automatically switch to locals as they are more convenient now if these buses aren't pressed elsewhere, BEST would be unable to meet the heavy demand of passengers who take these feeder routes daily.
"Before lockdown, BEST recorded heavy ridership in the feeder route buses. The footfall in the point to point buses was way more than long routes" the official added.
Presently, regular earnings of BEST buses have increased to Rs 2 crores from Rs 5 lakhs . Officials believe that if they don't curtail the buses on long routes then the revenue of the management would eventually fall.