State Transport commuters travelling on the Pune-Mumbai route have been complaining of poor services,especially during weekends and on Monday mornings. The most affected are the office-goers who say the delay in reaching Mumbai causes them to lose half their working day on Mondays.
Every day,370 buses ply between Pune and Mumbai,carrying over 2,000 passengers travelling between the two cities.
For a few months,I have been taking Shivneri buses to get to Pune on Friday evenings and back to Mumbai on Monday mornings. My bus invariably gets delayed,especially while heading back to Mumbai. I book a 5.30 am bus,in order to reach Mumbai before 9 am for office. However,the bus leaves Pune only by 6.30 am or even later,which defeats the purpose of waking up so early to be on time, said Kailas Dhende,a Pune resident who works with Bank of Baroda in Mumbai.
According to Banika Gurung,a student from Assam,it is very difficult for passengers such as her who do not understand Marathi. I wait at Swargate depot for at least half an hour each time. Approaching the enquiry window is of little help as the staffers are not well versed in English or Hindi, said Gurung.
Vijaykumar Divte,depot manager,Swargate,admitted that there was chaos at the terminal during the weekend and Monday mornings,but blamed it on the huge rush of weekend travellers. Most difficult days are second and fourth Saturdays,Sundays and the following Mondays. In the morning,we ply an additional eight to 10 buses to deal with increased traffic. But the commuter pressure is so much that some times the system collapses. There is a huge rush since 5.30 am to 10 pm inspite of a 15-minute frequency. We are trying to address these issues, said Divte.
He said the reason for delayed departures was mostly the late arrival of buses from Mumbai. Traffic jams,accidents and other issues such as rains affect the schedule of buses coming from Mumbai,which delays the Pune services.