Thousands of commuters were stranded across the metropolis on Tuesday as drivers and conductors of the city’s public bus service, BEST, went on a flash strike here to protest the new computerised scheduling system.
Bus services were paralysed since early morning in the city, affecting office-goers and school children appearing for exams the most. Commuters were stranded and many had to opt for autos for travel to place of work.
Around 40 per cent of the staffers had accepted the new scheduling system and even filled up forms, sources said.
However, unions decided to go on flash strike as they are opposed to the 12-13-hour work schedule for 20 per cent of the staffers and want the earlier manual system of scheduling to continue.
BEST general manager Om Prakash Gupta said the scheduling system will optimise the use of workforce, ensure better frequency of buses and save Rs 32 crore for the undertaking annually.
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The BEST runs a fleet of 4,200 buses and ferries 40 lakh passengers in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane and Mira Road daily.
It has around 22,000 drivers/conductors who ply buses on more than 500 routes daily. The BEST administration plans to move the Bombay high court against the unions for allegedly provoking drivers and conductors to go on flash strike.