An indicator of more and more citizens of the twin-city opting for 'the-road lifeline' to commute to work or travel for other purposes, the average daily ridership of bus services offered by the public transport authority attached to the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) touched the 72,000 mark, this week.
Currently, 70 out of the 74 buses are plying on 18 designated routes as services gradually reach out to more parts in and out of the twin city. While on-road plying of buses has crossed 95 per cent, completion of scheduled ferries is pegged at 99 per cent.
Prior to the lockdown in March 2020, the average number stood at 40,000 commuters per day.
“Our thrust is mainly to provide quality services at pocket-friendly fares. Secondly, an elaborate plan has been chalked out to launch environmentally- e-electric buses as soon as possible.” said civic chief-Dilip Dhole.
Notably, 816 commuters have availed pass facility in the first fortnight of this month.
“The ridership increased mainly due to rationalization of routes, improving frequency to 10-15 minutes, regular cleanliness and maintenance of buses. However, efforts were on to improve frequency to 5-10 minutes for daily office-goers and students on certain corridors,” said administrative officer-Dinesh Kangurde.
“Unlike earlier erratic services, the MBMC bus service has definitely improved. However, the administration should give extra importance to cleanliness and behaviour of conductors,” said Pratik Patil- a regular commuter.
In order to instil a sense of discipline among bus drivers and conductors, the civic administration has also launched the Intelligent Transport System (ITS) in its fleet of buses. Each bus is monitored via a global positioning system (GPS) on the ITS dashboard which detects signal jumping, stop skipping or any type of route change.
After terminating the contract with the regular service provider, the civic administration as a stop-gap arrangement appointed another private contractual agency for operating its bus fleet on a Net Cost Contract (NCC) model. This is supported by the Viability Gap Funding (VGF) to enhance the service network.
Special Buses for Cops:
Based on the request by the Mira Bhayandar-Vasai Virar (MBVV) police, the MBMC has introduced special bus services to ferry police personnel from Thane to Bhayandar via their workplaces in Kashimira and head-quarters in Mira Road Bhayandar via Mira Road.
MBVV chief Sadanand Date personally thanked the MBMC staff for providing the services.
“Although the service has been launched at the request of the MBVV police, civic officials and staffers can also travel in the buses,” said Kangurde.