Coronavirus outbreak: BEST buses are Mumbai's new lifeline

Updated: Mar 25, 2020, 07:41 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

Its operations are on to help staff who run essential services get to work

Essential services workers board a BEST bus to get to work on Tuesday. Pic/Atul Kamble
Essential services workers board a BEST bus to get to work on Tuesday. Pic/Atul Kamble

BEST buses are the new lifeline for Mumbai, replacing local trains with the Undertaking running more than 2,098 buses throughout the day till 5pm on Tuesday.

BEST officials said that buses have been run at regular frequency. "Many staffers stay away from Mumbai. We are managing services as per the attendance of the staff. Running of the bus staff requires bus starters, conductors, drivers and inspectors. This morning by 10 am we managed to run about 1,971 services and the figure was 2,098 till 5pm," a BEST official said.

As per the plan worked out by the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation, buses have been operating at a frequency of five minutes from railway stations beyond municipal limits to a changeover point. The changeover points will be at Borivli station (East), Thane (Khopat) and Vashi Railway Station for Western, Central and Harbour Railway respectively.

BEST will operate different routes from the changeover points to various locations in Mumbai. An official said BEST buses are being spotted at places like Badlapur and Dombivli and they are ferrying essential staff as per demands in absence of local trains.

BEST Committee member Shrikant Kawthankar said BEST buses have kept Mumbai running. "There are many services that need manpower and BEST is doing it just to keep the spirit of Mumbai alive."

BEST buses are the new lifeline for Mumbai, replacing local trains with the Undertaking running more than 2,098 buses throughout the day till 5pm on Tuesday.

BEST officials said that buses have been run at regular frequency. "Many staffers stay away from Mumbai. We are managing services as per the attendance of the staff. Running of the bus staff requires bus starters, conductors, drivers and inspectors. This morning by 10 am we managed to run about 1,971 services and the figure was 2,098 till 5pm," a BEST official said.

As per the plan worked out by the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation, buses have been operating at a frequency of five minutes from railway stations beyond municipal limits to a changeover point. The changeover points will be at Borivli station (East), Thane (Khopat) and Vashi Railway Station for Western, Central and Harbour Railway respectively.

BEST will operate different routes from the changeover points to various locations in Mumbai. An official said BEST buses are being spotted at places like Badlapur and Dombivli and they are ferrying essential staff as per demands in absence of local trains.

BEST Committee member Shrikant Kawthankar said BEST buses have kept Mumbai running. "There are many services that need manpower and BEST is doing it just to keep the spirit of Mumbai alive."

BEST staff on duty on Tuesday

3,606 conductors
3,848 drivers
145 bus inspectors
125 bus starters

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