BEST's sound idea to help you reach bus stop

An automated announcement system, similar to the one active in local trains, is now being tested on city buses

Taking a cue from local trains, Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking has decided to introduce an automated announcement system inside its buses.

The system would keep commuters informed about the next bus stop in Marathi and English. For instance, the voice would tell you that the next stop is Dadar TT or the last stop is Wadala depot.

Fully loaded: Passengers say locating one's stop, especially during peak
hours, is a problem for most. Representation Pic

'Mark my words'
At the moment, the mechanism is being tested inside 101 buses running on seven different routes in central Mumbai. "The Wadala depot is trying out this announcement system. If proven successful, we would install it in other buses too," said N Walawalkar, spokesperson, BEST.

There are around 191 buses that operate from Wadala depot on 19 different routes. Some of the bus route numbers where this announcement system has been installed are 502 Ltd, 504 Ltd, C-52, AS-440, AS-503, 168 and 69.

Pulling out all stops
Often passengers complain about lack of proper display and information of bus stops that creates problems, especially during peak hours. "It is an issue particularly when the bus is too crowded and people, who are standing, find it difficult to locate the precise stop. So, many commuters manage to alight only after their intended destination has come and gone," said a member of the BEST passengers' association.

Most travellers feel that instead of the noise of advertisements generated by television sets installed inside the buses, this announcement system would be more expedient for the public.

Did you know?
As of 2011, BEST runs a total of 4,680 buses, ferrying 4.8 million passengers over 365 routes, and has a workforce strength of 38,000, which includes 22,000 bus drivers and conductors.

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