School Bus Owners’ Association extends help to BEST

BEST, which ran close to 2,200 buses on Monday, added 125 more buses to its service on Wednesday as it pressed 2,433 buses in total

Pratip AcharyaUpdated: Wednesday, June 10, 2020, 11:55 PM IST
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BL SONI

Mumbai: For the third consecutive day in a row on Wednesday, long queues of passengers were seen at the BEST bus stops. As the week progresses, more and more number of passengers have started hitting the roads.

BEST, which ran close to 2,200 buses on Monday, added 125 more buses to its service on Wednesday as it pressed 2,433 buses in total.

However, this didn't solve the problem of inadequacy. With red buses being the only public transport available, the frequency was also lower.

In this while, the School Bus Owners Association (SBOA), Mumbai has offered the state government and BEST to use its buses considering the ongoing shortfall.

"SBOA has offered 500 of its buses to the state government and BEST which can be used to meet the demand of the shortfall," said Anil Garg, SBOA president.

"SBOA has 7,000 buses in total, most of which are lying idle amid the pandemic as schools are shut. We will offer our buses along with drivers to the BEST as they can run our buses in a point-to-point route in the city's business hub. Also as we will be providing drivers along with the buses, the transport undertaking will only be required to deploy its conductors on ground," added the SBOA president.

Garg told, SBOA has already written to the state government and BEST management and administrative officials of transport undertaking and BEST is slated to have an official meeting at the Wadala depot on June 11, where further details will be discussed and future calls will be taken.

However, BEST officials stated, transport undertaking will be doing whatever is best to do to match up with the demand, but didn't clarify on the statement whether it will borrow buses from private players.

"We are increasing buses in our fleet gradually every day. Yes, there is a higher demand because the railways are non-operational. We are evaluating various ways to fill the gap," said a senior BEST official.

On the first day, BEST ferried 4.15 lakh passengers while on the second

day 4.73 lakh passengers were ferried by the transport undertaking.

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