Mumbai: BEST premium bus service an instant hit

Kamal MishraUpdated: Tuesday, December 13, 2022, 03:09 AM IST
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BEST

Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking will introduce 10 more premium electric buses on three more routes – Kharghar-BKC, Thane-Powai (Hiranandani) and Chembur-Cuffe Parade – from Dec 25.

On Monday, the BEST started the operation of its first premium bus service between Thane and BKC, and four brand-new, state-of-the-art e-buses were introduced. Around 200 officegoers used the service including 140 from Thane to BKC in the morning and 60 from BKC to Thane in the evening, with 50% occupancy. The BEST administration is confident that the premium bus service will enable Mumbaikars to shift from self-driven cars and cabs, and ultimately help reduce vehicles on roads.

“Many office goers do not use BEST services as buses are overcrowded. With the option of a premium service, people who largely prefer private cabs to travel comfortably will also switch to BEST buses,” a BEST official said, adding that a team from the World Bank also enjoyed a premium ride on Monday.

According to BEST general manager Mr Lokesh Chandra, these buses are an alternative to self-driven cars. “A bus can carry more capacity and we can easily reduce the number of vehicles on the road. The live tracking facility on the application will also help find the next bus schedule,” he said.

According to a senior BEST official, the premium buses stop only if a passenger is to be picked up, based on a reservation, thereby guaranteeing faster travel with fewer stops. Also, standing travel is not permitted.

“The private buses currently on similar routes take around 1.5 hours to reach BKC from Thane, if I can get a quicker mode of transport with similar comfort I will surely switch over,” Thane-based Sudhanshu Singh who works at BKC said.

According to Thane resident Sudha Shah, this is a very good initiative that the BEST needs to introduce on other routes of the city.

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