As footfall of commuters inches towards touching the pre-Covid levels, the public transport system in the twin-city is all set to receive a major boost in comings months as the municipal transport wing has decided to purchase 30 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) powered Midi buses to strengthen its network and connectivity.The general body gave its nod to the proposal on Thursday.
While around Rs. 10 crore will be needed for the procurement, the civic administration has made budgetary allocations amounting Rs. 11.50 crore for enhancing the public transport system for local commuters and those travelling in and out the twin-city.
With the prices of petrol and diesel at an all-time high, the CNG-powered will not only reduce running costs but since it’s an eco-friendly fuel, it will drastically reduce pollution levels.
“ Yes, the transport authority has received an official nod from the general body towards the purchase of 30 Midi buses. The idea behind providing these 31-seater buses was to boost public transport services in areas of the city, where the roads were narrow and footfall of commuters was more.
Moreover the buses will run on feeder routes to facilitate connectivity with stations on the upcoming Metro Rail.” said deputy municipal commissioner - Swapnil Sawant. The MBMC (Mira-Bhayandar Municipal Corporation) has a total of 74 buses including- 59 regular buses, 5 air-conditioned Volvo buses and 10 Midi buses in its existing fleet.
Currently 58 out of the 74 buses are plying on 19 routes. An average of 40,000 commuters travel in and out of the twin-city on a daily basis. As a stop gap arrangement, the MBMC has appointed a private agency for operating its bus fleet on a Net Cost Contract (NCC) model. The transport authority has recently launched the Intelligent Transport System to monitor movement of buses via a global positioning system.
Women-Only Buses to Hit the Road Soon
Responding positively to an official demand made by municipal corporator- Varsha Bhanushali, MBMC Mayor- Jyotsna Hasnale has given her in-principle nod to utilize five Midi buses as women-only buses during peak hours on designated routes and in the remaining time they will operate as regular buses. The buses which will be used for ferrying women passengers during peak hours, will hit the roads soon, an official said.