Photo: Creative Commons
Photo: Creative Commons

The Thane Municipal Transport (TMT) has noticed an increase in its daily income after expanding additional services amid lockdown. With the increase in the number of buses, the TMT has reached the daily income of Rs. 12.50 lakh, which was earlier dropped to no-income during initial stage of Pandemic, providing ticketless travel with limited services for people serving emergency duties.

"Following the lockdown, the TMT services were too shut down. These services were resumed with around 50 bus services for commuters serving emergency duties in June, with ticketless travel for a limited period, which led to lack of income to TMT. However, with an increase in the services (by charging tickets) were slowly increased to 100, 150 and now 200 plying at the present covering both feeder and long routes has reached to Rs 12.50 lakh daily," said a senior official from TMT department.

According to the official, before lockdown, total of 300 TMT buses were plying on various route, earning around Rs 28 lakh income daily, serving around 3 lakh footfalls daily. However, the same was dropped following the decline in services during the initial stage of lockdown.

"Following the unlock phases, we had again resumed additional bus services step by step by charging tickets to the commuters. Hence, within the gap of one to two months, the income slowly grown from Rs 5 lakh to Rs12.50 lakh now. At present total 200 buses are plying in the city and on long routes like Bhiwandi, Borivali, Miraroad, Nalasopara and BKC area in Mumbai, with an increase in the footfalls of commuters traveling on above mentioned routes," added TMT official.

These services are being run with social distancing and other safety precautions amid the pandemic. While, around 10 AC buses which are plying on long routes are being equipped with thermal scanners, informed official.

"During the pandemic a total 10 TMT employees lost their lives after detecting COVID positive. Out of these 4 were drivers and 4 were conductors, who tested positive while on duty. Besides, other 2 (a driver and a conductor) were died off duty, due to COVID. At present though 200 buses are plying but only limited passengers are allowed to accommodate, considering the directions of social distancing," said official.

According to the official, they are looking forward to slowly increase more frequency of the buses on every routes of TMT, which will also help to gain increase in the TMT's daily income as before.

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Free Press Journal