A proposal for nearly 40 new Shivneri buses has been approved by the state government and the budget will be sanctioned soon.
Buses that are over three years old will be replaced and a few additional buses will also join the fleet.
While the number of buses that will be replaced has not been decided yet, what is certain is that the fleet strength of the Shivneri Volvo service will be going up as the MSRTC is also purchasing new buses.
“This is our routine activity. Since the service of Shivneri has started, we are replacing old buses after specific intervals. Most of the Shivneri are on lease. Hence, there is no point to use rental buses which are in bad condition. Frequency of the Volvo is also going to be increased, but we have not decided the routes. According to the demand of the route, we will increase the frequency,” an MSRTC official said.
Ganesh Patil, Pune Divisional Officer, said: “Shivneri on Pune-Mumbai route are a hit among the commuters. Currently, after every seven-and-half minutes there is Shivneri service for Dadar, and we are also providing Pune-Borivli and Pune-Thane Shivneri service after every hour. Despite having tremendous frequency, almost every bus is getting full.”
Sridhar Shinde, a regular Pune-Mumbai traveler, said: “Despite charging high fare, many Shivneri Volvo buses between Pune and Mumbai are in a bad condition. The push-back system of the seat is completely broken and the temperature is not maintained many times. There is need to introduce new Shivneri buses. New buses are not sufficient; regular maintenance is also must. Shivneri buses are not properly cleaned and we found many empty plastic bottles and dust before our journey and many times commuters themselves have to do the cleaning.”
Bus stop changed
The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) recently shifted its bus stop from Parihar Chowk in Aundh to Bremen Chowk. Shivneri Volvo buses for Mumbai will now start from Bremen Chowk, owing to the decision by the traffic police to make the road one-way for the sake of smooth flow of traffic. Buses from Mumbai can now enter the city from Parihar Chowk. The first bus will leave Pune station at 5.30 am and reach Bremen Chowk in 20 minutes.
Total number of Shivneri Volvo buses: 115
Number of Shivneris in Pune Division: 54
Cost of a Shivneri Volvo: Rs 80 lakh
Proposed addition of new Shivneri Volvos: 35 to 40
(Some buses will be purchased and rest will be on rental basis)