The Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) will restart its services in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad from September 3, a couple of days after the Ganesh festival comes to an end.
The decision to restart services was taken at a meeting held by PMPML Chairman and Managing Director Rajendra Jagtap, and attended by PMC Commissioner Vikram Kumar and PCMC Commissioner Shravan Hardikar, in Pune on Wednesday.
Earlier, District Guardian Minister Ajit Pawar had given the go-ahead to restart services of the transport body, which had lost a massive amount of revenue during the lockdown months.
While PMPML services were expected to resume on August 22, the day Ganesh festival starts, authorities seem to have decided to postpone the date in an effort to prevent crowding during the festival.
The transport body will ply only 25 per cent of its fleet initially, to ensure regulations pertaining to the Covid-19 pandemic are being adhered to. “The services will restart from September 3. We plan to start plying 25 per cent of buses in each of the 13 depots. There will be about 480 buses on the roads,” said Jagtap.
He said the PMPML may ply additional buses from major bus stations to accommodate more passengers. “The buses will carry 50 per cent of passenger capacity and there will be no standing passengers. We have also painted circles at some busy bus stands to ensure physical distancing is maintained by commuters waiting to board a bus,” said the PMPML chief.
The buses will initially ply on shorter routes with fewer stops, such as Swargate to Katraj and Pune railway station to Hadapsar, among others. On busier routes, the buses will ply at an interval of 10 minutes, said an official of the transport body.