Post the unlocking, announced by the government, women commuters have been complaining of male passengers boarding the Tejaswini buses on a regular buses.
The Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking had launched the yellow coloured Tejaswini buses last year to provide transportation exclusively for women commuters.
Presently there are 37 Tejaswini buses in BEST’s fleet and the buses usually connect some of the major commercial hubs of the city with nearby local railway stations, but presently the BEST management is running these yellow buses on some long and medium distance routes as well, considering that the suburban railways are still not operating in full scale.
"I travel to Vikhroli from Backbay quite often. Since the past few weeks I have noticed that male passengers are being allowed inside the ladies special buses," Namrata Joshi, an accounts professional told FPJ.
Another commuter, Deepshikha Rawat stated that she has informed the management when she saw male passengers boarding the only women bus.
"I spoke to the conductor after they allowed entry to three male passengers from Colaba last week. The conductor asked me to speak to the higher officials. I tweeted using the myBestBus handle, but nobody responded," Rawat stated.
Meanwhile, when FPJ approached officials of the Undertaking, they informed that they are allowing male commuters inside the Tejaswini buses on humanitarian grounds.
"During the morning and afternoon peak hours, conductors don't allow male passengers inside the buses, but during non peak hours we allow male passengers inside considering that most of the seats remain empty during afternoon and late evening," a senior BEST official told FPJ, requesting anonymity.
He also maintained that as soon as the local trains resume its full scale operations, these buses would again provide service to women only like it was pre lockdown.
"There is no clarity on when will local trains will resume, people are majorly dependent on BEST buses for commute, which is why we are trying to make full scale usage of our fleet. But as soon as local trains resume we will reschedule and rework on our schedule," the official added.