The premium bus service of BEST (Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport) has become a game-changer, especially for flyers, and is rapidly gaining popularity among commuters. Operating on key routes in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), including the airport to South Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, and Thane, these buses are proving to be a preferred mode of transport for around 3,000 passengers daily. Currently, nearly 100 premium buses are being operated on different routes daily.
Introduced in 2022 by BEST, the premium bus service has revolutionised travel between prominent business districts like Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) and the airport from various localities in MMR, including South Mumbai. The service covers routes such as Thane-BKC, Bandra-BKC, Airport-Cuffe Parade, Airport-Kharghar, Airport-Thane, Thane-Powai, Thane-Andheri, Gundavali Metro Station-BKC, Kharghar-BKC, CBD Belapur-BKC, Gundavali Metro Station-Airport Terminal 2, and Gundavali Metro Station-Airport Terminal 1.
Preferred mode of transport
According to sources, the buses are operated by a contractor under the BEST banner, ensuring seamless services on these routes. "Passengers have warmly embraced the premium bus service, as it offers a comfortable and affordable alternative to self-driven cars and cabs. Previously, many office-goers opted for private cabs due to overcrowded normal buses, but the premium service has enticed them to shift to a more comfortable option," said an official.
A senior BEST official revealed that the premium buses stop only for passengers with reservations, resulting in faster travel with fewer stops. Additionally, standing travel is not permitted in these buses, further enhancing the commuting experience.
Kunal Jain from Colaba expressed his satisfaction with the service, stating, "It's really affordable and comfortable, especially for flyers. Now, the premium bus service is available at the doorstep of the airport."
Passengers are delighted with the range of amenities offered on board, including a Luggage Ramp, USB Charging ports, and onboard WiFi, providing a seamless journey experience. To ensure a hassle-free boarding experience, passengers can conveniently pre-book their tickets through the user-friendly mobile app "Chalo Bus."
The overwhelming positive response from commuters has encouraged the BEST administration to consider expanding the premium bus service to other routes within the city. With this initiative, the BEST administration aims to reduce the number of private vehicles on the roads, contributing to a greener and more sustainable urban transport system.
Thane resident Sudha Shah hailed the premium bus service as a significant step forward and urged BEST to introduce similar services on other routes across the city.
With the premium bus service making commuting comfortable, cost-effective, and eco-friendly, it has emerged as a preferred choice for Mumbaikars, transforming the way they travel across the bustling metropolis.