The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) will launch a special service of the PMPML, a public transport bus service, in the heart of the city on Friday for unlimited travel at Rs 10.
“The special bus service declared in the 2020-21 annual budget. This is aimed to decongest the narrow roads in the heart of the city by discouraging residents from using private vehicles,” said Hemant Rasane, chairperson of the standing committee.
Passengers will have comfortable travel in the air-conditioned buses that will run on CNG fuel, he said, adding, “The service will begin with 50 midi-size buses with seating capacity of 24 people. The small size buses have been introduced on the narrow roads in the central part of the city.”
The buses will ply on nine routes mainly covering the area between Deccan Gymkhana to Poolgate, Swargate to Shivajinagar and Swargate to Pune Station. “Passengers need to pay Rs 10 and can travel in the bus throughout the day. This will discourage use of private vehicles and encourage maximum use of public transport,” Rasane said.
The buses will ply at a frequency of five minutes on main roads and 15 minutes on internal roads, he added. “The next step will be to introduce no parking or pay and park service on the narrow roads in the central part of the city. There is a need to provide alternatives to residents before introducing parking restrictions by providing easy and comfortable travel in the central part of the city. The new service will provide an alternative for travel,” he added.
The PMC plans to introduce the same service with 300 buses in other parts of the city till December, Rasane said. Meanwhile, the earlier service of 5 km travel at Rs 5 will continue on other routes of the PMPML.
The PMC is likely to have a deficit of Rs 2 crore per month due to the special service, he said, adding that the civic body has spent Rs 15 crore for the purchase of 50 midi-size buses for the special service.
Former chief minister Devendra Fadanavis and state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil will be the chief guests for the launch of the service.