Faced with competition,BEST looks at Metro bus service to get new routes

Even as the debate on how to compete with the upcoming Metro and Monorail continues in the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport...

Written by PrashantRangnekar | Mumbai | Published: July 19, 2010 4:52:14 am

Even as the debate on how to compete with the upcoming Metro and Monorail continues in the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST),its transport arm is busy working out a possibility of providing bus service to disperse the crowd outside the Metro stations and in return get more routes.

Top officials of the BEST and Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL) recently met and discussed about providing effective dispersal system outside the Metro stations once the service starts next year.

The first Metro corridor — Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar, and Monorail corridor—- Chembur-Wadala-Jacob Circle is to start in 2011.

“Metro stations are going to be like railway stations and would also require an effective dispersal system… The crowd using the Metro would also need buses to go to shorter destinations just as it happens at a railway station,” a senior BEST official,who attended the meet with the MMOPL officials,said.

“The BEST would provide help to disperse the crowd outside the station and in return would get more routes. As we don’t want duplication of routes,we intend to cut down on services on the routes where Metro and Monorail would be running. We can then divert our buses on other routes,” the official added.

BEST general manager Om Prakash Gupta confirmed the meeting. In an interview to the Newsline last month,the Gupta had said that BEST would be supplementing the two new modes of transport.

Besides providing North-South and East-West connectivity in the city,the BEST has been offering a good feeder services for decades,like plying special mini buses between station areas and residential hubs. The BEST would lose ridership once new transport services start. A section of BEST officers feels that the transport arm should devise a plan to deal with the new modes of transport.

The Metro and Monorail are expected to reduce of the load of the suburban railways and the BEST which have a combined ridership of over 11.5 million.

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