Buses go off road in Mumbai as drivers, conductors strike against long duty hours

BEST employees have gone on flash strike against the decision to extend their duty hours.

Mumbai | Updated: April 1, 2014 11:31 am

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.

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.

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  1. L
    laxmi
    Apr 1, 2014 at 6:17 am
    Why not start the Metro rail system as it is ready and trial runs are sucessful. Why wait and for whom the undertaking is waiting to inaugurate it?
    Reply
    1. J
      jai
      Apr 1, 2014 at 5:59 am
      get rid of all conductors and introduce smart cards ... then the savings made higher more drivers and reduce hours
      Reply
      1. J
        jai
        Apr 1, 2014 at 5:59 am
        get rid of all conductors and introduce smart cards ... then with the savings made hire more drivers and reduce hours
        Reply