Breaking down of BEST buses in the middle of the road is not only an eyesore for motorists, but can also turn a routine commute into an ordeal. This year, however, passengers could be spared, as breakdowns may no longer be a regular feature of the red fleet.
The traffic cops have written to the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) asking them to put breakdown vans at important locations and at central points in the city, where the cases of breakdowns are regular.
A disabled BEST bus blocking traffic in the middle of the road is an all too familiar scene, especially when the passengers and the bus staff have to wait for ages for maintenance staff to reach the spot.
“We have been receiving complaints regarding buses for a long time, and we have also tried to solve them immediately, but it takes time for our men to reach the bus. The passengers are complaining about it as well and we have been thinking about the solution. We are likely to implement this suggestion,” said a BEST official, talking about the breakdown vans. The vans will contain all the equipment required to make a quick repair job on the spot, so that buses do not hinder traffic on the street.
According to a BEST official, on an average, around 100 buses breakdown at different locations in Mumbai daily. This figure is likely to rise by over 100 per cent during the monsoon.
“This causes a problem for us, and also for the traffic police to control traffic jams,” added the official.
In a survey done by traffic police for three months in 2010, 800 out of 4,700 buses , reportedly, had a breakdown. The buses have not been maintained properly due to a shortage of engineering staff.
Vivek Phansalkar, joint commissioner of police (Traffic), said, “Many a time,
it happens that a bus may have got damaged in the middle of the road and a traffic jam occurs. The BEST maintenance staff takes a long time to reach the spot and there is long queue of vehicles on the roads. We have spoken with the BEST authorities to place their breakdown vans at important locations so that faulty buses can be repaired in a shorter time.”
The number of buses which had, reportedly, broken-down in 2010