The conventional chalk-slate to display routes numbers on the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) buses are here to stay. The Light Emitting Diode (LED) signages on BEST buses, which have been non-functional for a year, are being rectified but officials say this will take some more time.
"The LED display units were damaged as they were not waterproof," said a BEST official. Each LED unit costs around Rs1 lakh and BEST has so far spent around Rs8 crore for fixing faulty display boards in new buses procured under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). The LED units have been covered with plastic to make them waterproof.
The problem began after last year's monsoon when rainwater damaged the control switches of these indicators.
Old buses, which do not have proper electronic display boards, still have route numbers and destinations written with chalk. But most of them are illegible, causing inconvenience to commuters. "Most of the buses do not have proper signage boards, which makes it difficult to figure out the route," said Arti Mourya, resident of Kandivli (West).
"We are thinking of fitting LED systems in the old buses too. But the unit has to be economical and waterproof. The BEST management is discussing it right now. But it will take two years or more to implement it," said a BEST official.
BEST committee chairman Sunil Shinde said that there are technical difficulties but BEST is trying to find solutions.