The Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) will resume the ladies special and ‘ladies first’ buses from November 6, on the occasion of ‘Bhau Beej’. On Wednesday, the BEST gave the go-ahead to 100 bus trips across 70 routes in the city and the suburbs. After identifying the number of ladies special buses required, the undertaking will colour-code them.
In addition to the current 37 trips in operation, the public transporter will add 100 more buses for women from Saturday, on 70 routes across Mumbai. The new additions will be electric buses and according to BEST officials, 90 per cent of them will be air-conditioned. The remaining 10 per cent of buses will be brand new non-AC, CNG buses.
“We will be running 137 bus trips for women passengers. Now that more people are travelling, we want to make bus travel more comfortable for women. There are, on an average, 28 lakh total passengers travelling every day in our buses, of whom 10-12 per cent are women passengers,” said BEST General Manager Lokesh Chandra.
Of the total 70 routes, ladies special buses will only run on 10 routes, including eight routes in the south zone and two in the central zone.
The depots in these two zones include Colaba, Backbay, Worli, Wadala, Kurla, Dharavi and Majas, from where these buses will depart and arrive. There are none in the western zone. The remainder 60 routes will have ‘ladies first’ routes.
“On these ladies first routes, women will get the first preference to board from the first bus stop or depot. In case most of the passengers are women, then it will automatically become a ladies special,” said a BEST official. Routes that are especially crowded during peak hours have been chosen and this will come as a relief to female officegoers and others waiting in long bus queues.
Open-deck tourist bus
On Wednesday, the BEST inaugurated a newly refurbished open-deck tourist bus starting from the Gateway of India-Mantralaya-Marine Drive-Churchgate-CSMT and back. Authorities intend to operate via the Bandra-Worli Sea Link in the coming days.