Pax demand more buses as PMPML fleet shrinks - Hindustan Times
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Pax demand more buses as PMPML fleet shrinks

ByDheeraj Bengur
Jun 17, 2024 05:52 AM IST

The PMPML provides bus services to Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad and currently has 1,928 buses in its fleet, with daily services provided by around 1,600 to 1,650 buses on various routes

At a time when the number of buses in the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) fleet is dwindling and several routes are being shut down, in turn affecting passenger travel, the number of regular bus trips too is set to reduce given that schools have reopened and many of these buses will be used for the schools as well. Consequently, passengers will have to suffer during the monsoon at peak hours of travel.

The PMPL’s fleet of self-owned buses is being decommissioned as these buses have crossed 12 years of age. (HT PHOTO)
The PMPL’s fleet of self-owned buses is being decommissioned as these buses have crossed 12 years of age. (HT PHOTO)

The PMPML provides bus services to Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad and currently has 1,928 buses in its fleet, with daily services provided by around 1,600 to 1,650 buses on various routes. The PMPL’s fleet of self-owned buses is being decommissioned as these buses have crossed 12 years of age. Therefore, the number of buses in the PMPML fleet is decreasing day by day.

As per the information shared by the PMPML, another 38 buses will be phased out on June 17. Some buses will be used for schools as schools have reopened. Therefore, the number of buses providing services will further decrease. Routes with low revenue are also being shut down due to lack of buses. While the drive to reduce round trips on several routes is underway at the depot level. Passengers on these routes will suffer due to frequent cancellation of routes.

Makrand Kale, a regular passenger, said, “There is always an issue of delayed buses running towards Lohegaon from the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) bus stand during evening peak hours, with authorities citing shortage of buses as the reason. Hundreds of passengers are travelling in one bus and there is a need to increase the number of buses for PMPML.”

Shashank Rathi, another passenger, said, “Daily, there is a heavy rush in all the buses that run between Swargate and Hadapsar as a large number of people still cannot afford to travel by private autos/cabs. So, it is necessary to increase the number and quality of buses for us Punekars.”

PMPML is planning to buy 100 CNG buses of its own this year. New buses were expected to join the fleet by now, but due to lack of response to the bus procurement tender, the procurement was stalled. Later due to implementation of the Lok Sabha (LS) election code of conduct, re-tendering could not be carried out. Hence, there was no re-tendering process for around one-and-a-half to two months. Now, the code of conduct has been lifted but it is likely to take another five to six months before the buses are re-tendered and inducted into the fleet.

Satish Gavane, PMPML chief transport manager, said, “As many buses as possible are plying on the route daily now and we are trying to give the best service to Punekars. The new buses are expected to arrive by September 2024 and passengers will not face any problems thereafter.”

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