MSRTC to introduce 60 more AC volvo buses
By: Parth Satam
New buses will be added to Shivneri fleet to keep up with rising demand, especially on the Pune-Mumbai route
Here's some good news for regular travellers to Mumbai. The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) will soon add 60 new AC Volvo buses to its popular Shivneri fleet. Of these, quite a few could soon be plying between the city and Mumbai.
Officials said 35 new buses would be purchased and about 25 buses would be hired from private operators. They are expecting about four to five buses to be allotted to city bus stands.
More the merrier: According to officials of the MSRTC, 40 buses will be added on the in-demand Pune-Mumbai route. File pic
This they said would ease commuter traffic and address the long-standing demand of the passengers to increase services on the Swargate-Dadar route.
"If the buses are allotted accordingly, passengers will be happy as they have made several requests to us in the last several months to increase frequency on this route," said an MSRTC official on condition of anonymity.
Currently, the MSRTC operates 24 buses to Mumbai from two of its bus depots.
While the Swargate bus depot has 12 buses, the Shivajinagar bus depot has 24 AC Volvo buses, of which 12 are sent to the Pune station bus stand and then ply to Mumbai routes. The other 12 buses at Shivajinagar bus depot ply on the Pune-Aurangabad and Pune-Nashik route. Each bus makes a minimum of two trips to Mumbai shuttling 3,000 to 3,500 passengers everyday. From Swargate bus depot, five buses ply on the Pune-Thane route and seven buses on the Pune-Borivli route.
Another MSRTC official said the Pune-Bangalore bus service that was discontinued a few months ago because of lukewarm response could be resumed.
"Already, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) runs five buses from Swargate, which are now falling short because of increasing demand from software and IT professionals. We hope the management starts four to five buses on this route and mitigate passenger traffic," the official said.
Deepak Kapoor, MSRTC vice-chairman and managing director, said: "MSRTC plans to add 40 buses to the Mumbai-Pune route."
However, Kapoor refused to comment on the number of buses that would be allotted to city bus stands.
Passengers have welcomed the move.
Vikrant Wankhede, a student (23) from Mumbai who often travels to the city, said he hoped the services from Swargate are increased. "I often board buses from Swargate but the frequency is low. I hope this depot gets more buses.
Tejas Jhaveri (24), an IT professional from Bangalore who travels to the city every month, said the two cities are developing IT hubs and thus required better connectivity.
"Shivneri is already an excellent service and I hope they have such services to Bangalore too," he added.