After Diwali, commuters may have the option to travel in public buses that will ply at an interval of every 30 seconds along dedicated lanes on the Western and Eastern Express highways.
The catch here, however, is that this exercise will be carried out for a limited number of days.
This is part of a simulation exercise to check the feasibility of dedicated bus lanes in Mumbai.
"We will be carrying out simulation exercises for dedicated bus lanes after Diwali. This will involve running buses on a 30-second time gap on dedicated bus lanes," Metropolitan Commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad said.
With the Rs 1,200-crore Bus Rapid Transit System yet to take off due to a lack of political will and bureaucratic apathy, the authorities have mooted a comparatively cheaper alternative — the dedicated bus lane concept that will cost the state Rs 18-20 crore.
According to this plan, buses will ply on a dedicated lane along the kerb of the road.
At a meeting held to discuss this proposal recently at the MMRDA office with officials from BEST and traffic police, it was decided to undertake a simulation exercise.
The MMRDA will place barricades across a single lane between Bandra (West) and Dahisar (West) and from Sion to Mulund. BEST will then ply buses at an interval of 30 seconds on this route.
"We hope the results of this test will help us understand whether this project can run on a feasible basis in Mumbai," Gaikwad said.
"We are awaiting directions from the state government on how to undertake the project. We will follow whatever plans the state clears," BEST General Manager O.P. Gupta said.
Under this proposal, no other vehicles apart from buses, will be allowed to ply on this stretch.