Even as the state government boasts of several big-ticket projects such as mono and metro rail, city’s transport experts feel that increasing the number of bus services could make the commute much easier, that too at a lower cost.
More than 25 city transport experts, on Friday, suggested different ways of improving the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) transport services, which plies around 40 lakh passengers daily, at an event organised by the Mumbai Transport Forum in association with the Hindustan Times on Friday.
Issues ranging from bus shelters to poor frequency of buses were discussed during the three-hour session held at the Observer Research Foundation. “Currently, more than funds, BEST is in need of space to run efficiently. The government should try to create priority lanes for buses at least on highways,” said Ashok Datar, a transport analyst.
Experts said that special lanes for buses could be created at roads linking Suman Nagar to Kalanagar junction, Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road, Western Express Highway, Eastern Express Highway, Santacruz-Chembur Link Road, among others.
Providing facilities such as plug points for laptops, coat hangers, mobile charging points and Internet connection in air-conditioned buses could help increase the number of bus commuters. “In the survey conducted at corporate offices at BKC, Parel and Seepz, we found out that executives are willing to opt for bus services instead of car, provided it is efficient and comfortable,” said Prachi Merchant, from Mumbai Transformation Support Unit.
Reacting to the experts’ suggestions, Victor Nagaonkar, officer on special duty, BEST, said, “I have noted down the suggestions and will inform the management about them.”