PMPML started its ‘smart’ bus service for commuters travelling to and from the airport on Friday, with 43 buses operating on five routes, connecting various parts of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad with the airport. The five areas that have been connected in the first phase are Hinjewadi, Swargate, Hadapsar, Kothrud and Nigdi.
Pune MP and Chairman of Airport Advisory Committee, Girish Bapat, inaugurated the service by green flagging a bus.
This is not the first time that PMPML has launched such a service. In the past, the transport utility had started such services but eventually discontinued them, due to poor response from commuters.
“Unlike previous efforts, this time, we have planned this service to provide comfort and convenience to passengers. We are initially starting with five routes, which will be expanded further in the future. The service will have pick-up and drop points, which may be different from the existing stops on the route. Special space has been made for passengers’ luggage at the rear end of the bus by removing chairs. The bus is Wi-Fi-enabled and a mobile app will give real-time GPS location,” said PMPML chief Rajendra Jagtap
After inaugurating the bus, Bapat said many fliers have to travel to the airport from far-flung areas and they often have no other option but to spend on cabs, in the absence of a reliable public transport system connecting to the airport.
“The airport does not have proper and sufficient parking facility and hence fliers can’t bring their own vehicles. With this service, fliers will be able to come to the airport conveniently and at an affordable fare,” said Bapat.
In 2018, the transport body had launched a similar service with the help of 10 air-conditioned buses that it had received. Later on, due to lack of response, four of these were discontinued and used for the ‘Pune Darshan’ scheme instead. The service was later discontinued completely.
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