Commuters travelling by King Long buses have been complaining about the irregularity in timings and various technical issues in AC bus 592. The bus operates from L&T Infotech Park (Mahape) to Vasantarao Naik Chowk.
The commuters comprise officegoers, who say that they get late for work because the bus is never on time. Recently due to leakages the seats have also been getting wet.
The frequency of the King Long Volvo buses is low, forcing commuters to wait for a long time for the next bus. Several complaints have been sent to the authorities in the past six months but to no avail. MiD DAY decided to travel by these buses and see how valid these complaints are.
Day 1: June 2
The bus, supposed to arrive at 7.35 am, arrived at around 7:45 am at Teen Taki, Koparkhairane bus stop. It was late by 10 minutes leading commuters to complain to the driver and conductor. The usual slate with the destination and bus number chalked out on it had not replaced the bus’s indicator, which was not working, making it hard to find out where it was headed. Also, this reporter found that the tariff to Mankhurd Naka was too steep. The road condition added to the misery as the bus jerked every time the brakes were hit. However, the driver was kind enough to let people off at places they wanted to get off at, by making unscheduled stops. The bus reached Vasantrao Naik Chowk, its final destination, at 9.51 am.
7:45 Teen Taki, Koperkhairane
8:15 Vashi Bridge
9:15 Lokmanya Tilak Marg, Dadar
9:45 Haji Ali
9:51 Vasantrao Naik Chowk
Day 2: June 3
The bus reached Teen Taki, Kopar Khairane bus stop at 7:40 am. The number of commuters was less. Everything seemed fine till a loud noise was heard on Sion-Trombay Road. The bus driver did not stop immediately, but waited till reaching Priyadarshani at 8.38 am and told commuters that there was a flat tyre. A few passengers took off by taxi, not wanting to be late for work. The rest were accommodated in a non-AC bus, which left from the spot at 8.50 am.
7:40: Teen Taki
8:38: Priyadarshani (the bus got flat tire)
8:48: the remaining passengers got into AS-3 bus
9:10 Khodadad Circle Lane
9:50 Nehru Planetarium
Day 3: June 4
The bus reached Teen Taki, Kopar Khairane bus stop at 7:40 am. The busride was pleasant with no problems. The air conditioner was working fine and the ride was not that bumpy. It was the final day of the MiD DAY initiative, so we decided to talk around.
P Prabhakaran (77) Koperkhairane
I have been travelling in this bus for the past four years but it has been difficult. There are leakage issues in the monsoon and the frequency is not good.
Santosh Kamble (27) Koperkhairane
For the past few months we have been facing a lot of hardship. Due to lack of maintenance the AC does not work and there are leakages. The poor frequency in the evening adds to our woes. We have to wait for long hours for the bus. If the administration cannot remedy the issues, they should shut down the service.
Leena Mandhavri, Vashi
I have been travelling by this bus for almost three years and six months. It was much better when the service began. They don't seem to maintain the fleet of their buses very well now, since we often have to face a flat tyre while commuting. I have been complaining to the Vashi depot master but still no action has been taken.