Over the past two years,the number of incidents per month of BEST buses breaking down on roads,leading to traffic jams,has reduced by nearly 35 per cent.
BEST General Manager O P Gupta attributed this to efficient maintenance practices.
Two years ago,the number of breakdowns was an alarming 120 per month.
The problem was graver in mid-2010,when the number of buses breaking down was more than 135 a month. This has now reduced to 75-78 a month.
The target over the next three years is to bring the number down to 60 or 62 a month, Gupta said.
A few years ago,BEST added nearly a 1,000 buses to its fleet,taking the number to nearly 4,700.
However,parking space,funds,manpower and equipment for maintenance remained more or less constant,straining the public utilitys resources.
This affected maintenance of buses,resulting in frequent breakdowns.
One of the major reasons for breakdowns was the lack of preventive maintenance due to overcrowding of depots and shortage of staff for maintenance, Gupta said.
As part of corrective measures,BEST optimised its fleet in use to about 4,200 buses at any point. It also introduced the concept of preventive maintenance in depots and trained staff in handling the modern technology in new buses,Gupta said.