Mumbai: BEST brings down bus breakdowns

Officials say they have carried out a number of improvements to stop the vehicles from getting stalled on the roads, and to better their mileage

The BEST has some good news. As per the Undertaking’s statistics, the number of buses breaking down in the middle of roads has come down over the years. Besides this, even the mileage lost due to engineering defects in the vehicles and the fuel costs have decreased.

Breakdown and slow-moving buses were the topmost reasons why the number of passengers had dropped to 29 lakh from 45 lakh in the last one year, before increasing to 32 lakh.

Sliding down
Sources said that in 2011-12, the breakdowns were 1.03 per 10,000 km. BEST officials said the Undertaking has 3,800-odd buses, which in totality run around 7 lakh km daily.

So, if you calculate, then in 2011-12, at least 72 buses on an average used to break down due to technical failures.

“We then decided to step in as we realised that the number of buses on road without passengers had gone up,” said a BEST official.

In 2012-13, the transport Undertaking saw a 19.40 per cent drop in breakdowns with the number of buses getting stranded in the middle of roads coming down to 58. This slid further in 2015-16 to 40.

“Till September this year, breakdowns have further dipped by 22.8 per cent,” said another BEST official.

Currently, around 31 buses lying defective on roads. BEST officials have said that they are aiming to reduce the number of breakdowns to 0.30 per 10,000 km by 2017-18, ie around 21.

Mileage woes
It is also hard to achieve a good mileage for the buses due to traffic. As per rules, one bus has to complete 180-190 km a day, a target which is often missed due to the traffic jams.

In 2011-12, at least 1.91 per cent of the Undertaking’s total fleet couldn’t complete the prescribed run; in 2014-15, the number improved with 1.13 per cent unable to ply the required number of km. Till September 2016, only 0.49 per cent of buses are losing mileage, mainly due to technical failures in engines and tyres.

Officials said they are trying to improve BEST’s image, which has gone for a toss due to a variety of reasons.

A few improvements
>> Preventive maintenance of buses has been improved, taking place after every 3,700 km.
>> Hydraulic clutches have been replaced with mechanical ones.
>> Engine coolants have been bettered.
>> In-line pumps that control fuel supply (namely diesel) have been replaced, enhancing fuel consumption and less exhaust.
>> Electronic route boards are being properly sealed.

32 lakh
No. of people using BEST buses daily

3,800
Number of buses in BEST’s fleet

7 lakh
Total km run in a day by the fleet

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