Mumbai: The Brihan mumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) buses, on an average, complete 90% of the scheduled trips daily, owing to major traffic snarls.
A BEST official said around 10% of the scheduled trips remains incomplete as vehicles get stuck in jams leading to delays. “Most of the delays occur in peak hours, which is the time when we get maximum passengers. Our punctuality is affected and commuters switch to other modes of transport,” the official said.
The transport body has been steadily losing commuters over the years and currently ferries around 25 passengers per trip. With revenue from tickets falling, the losses amount to nearly ₹1,000 crore annually, whereas its operating costs, which include fuel and staff salaries, remain the same.
The BEST has a fleet of 3,337 buses of which around 90% are operational on a day-to-day basis. The total fleet is scheduled to complete approximately five lakh km daily, around 60,000 trips, with each bus averaging around 170 km.
Now it is planning to tackle some of the issues caused by congestion. BEST committee chairman Ashish Chemburkar said he had spoken to Joint Commissioner of Police Amitesh Kumar about parking in front of the bus stops.
“We have written to him about authorising our traffic inspectors to levy penalty on those who park their cars or autos at bus stops, Mr. Chemburkar said
He said several share taxis and rickshaws also operate in front of the bus stops. “We will be holding more discussions with the traffic police to come up with a solution.”
BEST general manager Surendrakumar Bagde said as per rules no one is permitted to park within 15 metres of either side of a bus stop. “There are nearly 6,500 bus stops and hence it is next to impossible to monitor all of them. Once the rainy season is over, we will be demarcating the no-parking section and also launch a campaign to involve citizens to ensure the rule is implemented,” Mr. Bagde said.
Mr. Bagde also said the intelligent transport management system is likely to be rolled out by December, which will provide the BEST real time data on the position of buses and commuters can access it through a passenger information system.
“We are currently undertaking a pilot test of the system at Wadala and Backbay depots, and have installed GPS devices on 250 buses,” Mr. Bagde said.