Mumbai: Unable to look away from the demand of Mumbaikars, the BrihanMumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking re-instated the A-101 bus service on Friday.
The mini air-conditioned twenty-one seater buses operating between Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CSMT) and Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee chowk (museum) at a frequency of 10 minutes was discontinued from service earlier on February 19.
Since its inception on November 2019, the mini red bus service became a hit among the Mumbaikars for ferrying them to their destination in exchange of a nominal Rs 6.
However, BEST officials claimed they have discontinued the service as there was not enough footfall of commuters.
Beside the bus stop from which A-101 used to operate, there is a sharing taxi stand that ferries passengers for Rs 15-20 per seat. As a result, the red buses caused a hindrance to the local taxi unions, as commuters used to prefer the BEST buses.
Members of the taxi union claimed, the bus stop from which the buses were operating were illegal due to which BEST had suspended the service earlier.
“The point from which BEST was operating the buses was illegal, as that space is allotted to the taxi union by the RTO for running share taxi services,” said Al Quadros, leader of Mumbai Taxi Union Association.
However, BEST received severe backlash from regular commuters for pulling the buses off the road, as it has caused a lot of inconvenience. “We pulled off the buses, as there were not enough commuters on the route. Thus, we pressed the buses on different routes to increase the frequency where the demand is higher,” said Balasaheb Zodage, BEST Public Relations Officer and spokesperson.
“The bus stops are not at all illegal and we have permission of the RTOs. We have reinstated the service to meet the public demand,” Zodage added.