WOMAN COMMUTERS will have to wait till the end of March to see more ladies’ special buses on the roads.
The Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) has 39 buses in the Tejaswini fleet, including six buses that were added earlier this month. According to the authorities, 27 more buses are expected to join the fleet only towards the end of March.
Of its total fleet of about 2,098 buses, 350 to 400 buses remain off the road due to various reasons on an average day. Breakdowns also result in shrinking the number of trips. So, on an average day the transport body realises about 4,500 fewer trips than it planned.
Officials said of the total 2,098 buses, 653 are operated by private contractors. They added that a major reason for the transport body to realise the planned trips per day is the failure on part of the contractors to meet their targets. The PMPML had added 33 Tejaswini buses for women last year by earmarking 33 of 200 midi-buses that the transport body had received. Six buses from the state government were received and added to the fleet on February 9 in presence of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Officials said they had recently scrapped 105 buses that were too old to remain on the roads and were planning to scrap more as and when it received new buses.
“We are planning to add more buses and scrap old ones. On February 9, six Tejaswini buses out of 33 that we are supposed to get from the state government were received, rest 27 will be added by the end of March. We are hopeful that we can add more buses in the fleet every month, so that we can scrap the old buses that are not fit to be plying on roads,” said Subhash Gaikwad, PMPML spokesperson.