Good news is in store for those commuting by buses from the suburbs and neighbouring cities in Mumbai.
In order to improve the services on intercity routes in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking has proposed such buses arrive at specific frequencies.
At present, there is hardly any co-ordination between services of the municipal transport bodies.
As a result, all municipal bodies have been operating services on already crowded routes in each other’s territory, resulting in duplication of services and confusing the commuters.
Explaining the gravity of the problem, a senior BEST official said several buses get passengers in only one direction, whereas buses go empty in the other direction.
Sometimes two or more buses of different municipal bodies run empty one after the other, while passengers are forced to wait for a long time for the next bus.
The proposal is under active consideration of the state government and other municipal transport bodies such as Thane Municipal Transport (TMT), Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport (NMMT) and Mira Bhayander Municipal Transport (MBMT).
“We have proposed a plan that will end unhealthy competition between municipal transport bodies and ensure better services to passengers,” said Jagdish Patil, general manager of BEST undertaking.
According to BEST officials, their proposal includes three points – charting a plan to operate a specific number of buses with the requisite frequency, develop nodal points, a pick-up-and-drop point in each other’s territories and share revenue, which they see as the most difficult thing, but not an insurmountable problem.