Two months after the air-conditioned (AC) buses were suspended, they are all set to ply again, bringing relief to Mumbai commuters. Introduced by Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the AC buses will be back in service by early next month. The minimum fare of the bus would be Rs 15 while the maximum would go up to Rs 25.
The hybrid buses will be operated by Brihanmumbai Electric Supply Trust (BEST) on three routes. Authorities had maintained that its fare scale would be similar to that of AC buses run by BEST. “The MMRDA, BEST and TATA officials today supervised the first lot of 25 buses and approved it to be technically fit to ply on the route. The BEST will operate the day-to-day service. TATA will supply five buses every month to be plied on the stretch. The sitting capacity of each bus is 31 and the standing capacity is 28,” an official statement from MMRDA stated.
The services will run between Bandra, Kurla and Sion stations to BKC. Officials said stops on the route will be decided according to public demand. “To understand the preference of commuters about stoppages required, we have planned to develop an application where they can feed in their respective destination requirements. This will help us decide which are the most favourable spots where crowd requires to get in or out of the buses. We will float tenders for the app soon,” Sanjay Bhagwat, additional general manager of the BEST, said.
The app will also help trace how crowded the buses is by tracing the ticket sales of the services, Bhagwat added. These buses, which will operate both on diesel and battery, could run for 24 hours on the road till charged again.