In a bid to make the journey more seamless for the travellers taking flights from either of the city’s airports, Terminal 1 or Terminal 2, the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking on Thursday launched an AC bus services between both the terminals, which are roughly 5 km apart.
On its first day of service at Terminal 1, the 24 hours direct bus service was a heave of sigh for several flyers who didn’t know about the service in advance. After landing at the airport, the conductor’s cry, for ferrying the passengers between either terminals at a one-way price of Rs 50, was an immense relief for travellers lugging baggage in the scorching heat.
The BEST bus driver, stationed at the bus stop said, “Today is the first day of this bus service and it takes around 15 to 20 minutes to reach the terminals from both the points. There are currently three buses deployed for this route. And for the bus ride today at 3pm we had 25 passengers and that is the maximum I have seen since morning, it might be because a flight landed during that time.”
“Many times passengers reach the wrong terminal and have to go to the other one, or they have connecting flights from the other terminal, so this bus service at a very reasonable rate is really beneficial for the commuter. Also, for more people to know about this bus, there should be a sign board installed at the entry/exit gates, currently the security guards are guiding the passengers to the bus stop,” he added.
Shruti Nair a veterinary doctor traveling from Kerala to Rajasthan for a conference said, “I took a connecting flight from Kerala - Mumbai- Rajasthan. After landing here they told me that my next flight is from Terminal 2 so I started downloading Uber app which took 15 mins to download. Then I remembered that Delhi has a bus which connects the terminals so I asked the security guard if there is any such bus in Mumbai and he directed me to the bus stop. I was so happy that I got this nice AC bus to reach the other terminal, otherwise it would’ve been a hassle.”
Uber rates currently from T1 to T2 are - Cab: Rs 280, Taxi Rs 152, Premium cab Rs 335 (These rates keep changing according to day/night time). While some local taxis also charge upto 500-800 for a single ride till the next terminal.
Arjun Raghavan, a commuter said, “We are on a vacation going to Kullu Manali, we boarded the connecting flight from Chennai -Mumbai- Chandigarh. We were told to board the next fight from terminal 2, so we approached a local taxi but he said Rs 800 per ride, which was unreasonably expensive. So later I just assumed that there must be a bus so we asked around and heard the conductor calling out for passengers to Terminal 2, that’s when we got into the bus which costed us Rs 50 only.”