Commuters traveling on the 115 bus route in Mumbai have been facing significant inconvenience and longer waiting times in recent weeks due to an insufficient number of buses. The situation has led to serpentine queues forming at CSMT ( Bhatiya Baug) particularly during the afternoon . Sudhir Naik, a 45-year-old resident of Ghatkopar, expressed his frustration, stating that the waiting time for buses has increased on several routes, especially in the afternoon.
Sudhir, who works as a financial consultant, mentioned that during the afternoon, commuters are often forced to wait up to 15 minutes in queues at CSMT (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus) for the 115 bus. Additionally, the frequency of buses on other routes, namely A-100 and 111, has also decreased in recent days.
The 115 bus route operates between CSMT and NCPA, offering both air-conditioned (AC) and non-AC buses. The non-AC buses are designated as Route Number 115, while the AC buses are known as A-115. The timings for this route are from 7:30 am to 9:30 pm, with the first bus departing from CSMT at 7:30 am and the last bus departing from NCPA at 9:30 pm. The fare for non-AC buses is Rs 5, while AC buses charge Rs 6.
However, despite the availability of taxis along the route, they are comparatively more expensive, and most drivers are reluctant to ferry passengers for short distances. This makes it difficult for commuters to rely on cabs for their daily transportation needs.
The 115 bus route serves a significant number of government and private offices located along its path, with many frequent visitors to Mantralaya also relying on this route from CSMT. The high number of office-goers further exacerbates the problem.
According to BEST official, during the morning rush hour, the proposed frequency of buses is less than five minutes ( total 24 buse with 6 non AC and 18 AC deployed) , while in the afternoon, six non-AC buses and nine AC buses are deployed, totaling 15 buses.
The proposed frequency during the afternoon is six minutes. However, due to traffic conditions, the time gap between two buses sometimes increases.
"Increasing the number of buses particularly in the afternoon, would help alleviate the problem and reduce waiting times for passengers" said another passenger.
In response to the concerns raised by commurers, a spokesperson from BEST stated, "We have been informed about the issue and have directed the depot manager to look in to the matter and increase the number of buses during the afternoon period."
Passengers waiting for bus number 115 at near CSMT on Tuesday afternoon