Thane finally gets 10 Tejaswini buses
Thane After months of delay, women-only buses have started plying on Thane roads.
Thane Municipal Transport (TMT) started running 10 Tejaswani buses from Wednesday. The buses will ply during morning and evening peak hours and will soon get women conductors.
The buses are equipped with CCTV cameras and a panic button.
“Ten buses are running from Thane station to 10 routes in Thane. A total of 50 Tejaswini buses will be added to the TMT fleet. Twenty such buses will start plying in 15 days. The rest will arrive within a month,” said Sandeep Malvi, transport manager, TMT.
According to the official, the other 20 buses are going through the registration process and will be added to TMT fleet soon.
“The 27-seater bus has CCTV cameras and a panic button for safety of the women passengers. The buses will only ferry women commuters during morning and evening peak hours. It will take other passengers during non-peak hours. Each buses cost around Rs28 lakh,” added Malvi.
The state government had announced to allot around 300 buses in cities such as Mumbai, Navi-Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Nagpur and Kalyan-Dombivli. Each cities has been allotted 50 women-only buses by the state government.
NO WOMEN STAFF
Although the buses are supposed to have only women conductors and drivers, TMT is yet to hire them.
“We have hired men conductors and drivers. We have started training more than 100 women conductors, who will start work within two weeks. We are in the process to appoint women drivers during peak hours,” said a TMT official.
The bus service got a good response on its first day, said TMT officials. But they said they are planning to urge women commuters to board such buses.
“We are planning to out up hoardings and banners about Tejaswini bus services, giving information about the routes and the timings. The banners will be placed on TMT bus stops and public places. The Tejaswini buses, which are non-AC, charge the same fare,” said a senior official from TMT.
After a long delay and huge hype, women commuters could finally board Tejaswini buses on Wednesday. “Though the buses were delayed, we are happy that finally we can travel safely. The commute from the station has become smoother. Now, I do not worry about boarding crowded buses, which is a nightmare,” said Nikita Chaudhary, 22, a regular commuter from Thane to Kolshet.
According to drivers, each bus does around five trips in during peak hours.
“We feel uncomfortable in other TMT buses as they are overcrowded. This affordable public transport with all safety devices was the need of the hour,” said Sakshi Iyer, 33, a resident of Thane.