Bus commuters, who travel between Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) and Thane, can now enjoy a luxury ride to their destination as the BEST is all set to start its premium services on September 26, which marks the beginning of Navratri. The service will be of great respite as it will run in peak hours, with limited halts. The BEST has placed an order for procuring 200 buses. By the end of this year, premium buses will cover most of the city’s busiest routes.
The most striking feature of these buses will be the fares. However, the rates have not been finalised yet. But it has been assured that the fares will be cheaper than shared auto-rickshaws and taxis, with the facility of a monthly pass.
Passengers of premium bus service will be able to book seats in advance for particular time slots through the Chalo App. The service aims to cater to the demand of office-goers mainly. After rolling out the premium service between the BKC and Thane, the BEST has plans to expand to busy routes like Powai-south Mumbai and Navi Mumbai-south Mumbai.
“The buses will operate during peak hours on office-going routes. The seats can be booked through Chalo app and no standees will be allowed,” said the BEST official. You can relax and even charge your laptops and mobile phones while travelling. The Chalo app will help you track the bus, give you information on the occupancy and also allow you to purchase seats in real-time before the bus arrives at the stop, underscored the official.
Commenting on the service, BEST general manager Lokesh Chandra remarked, “The Undertaking will be India's first state transport corporation to roll out a premium city bus service.”
Equipped with ergonomically-designed seats for extra comfort on long journeys, with headrest wings and adjustable footrests, all buses will have a dedicated USB power port for every passenger. BEST officials said the premium segment buses will target those working in offices at Colaba, Nariman Point, Cuffe Parade, Lower Parel, BKC, Malad, among other places.