Mumbai's BEST bus has gotten a new lease of life

Updated: Jul 11, 2020, 07:58 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

With the daily average figure of bus commuters touching 10 lakh this week, it has passed the traditional Mumbai lifeline, the suburban railway far behind, which is ferrying about 2.5 lakh commuters daily

This picture has been used for representation purpose
This picture has been used for representation purpose

The big, red bus has arrived at the service of Mumbaikars and the city is literally shouting, you're the BEST.

A front-page report in this paper cited how BEST and State Transport buses proved numero uno, as the number of commuters swelled amid no other means of travel.

With the daily average figure of bus commuters touching 10 lakh this week, it has passed the traditional Mumbai lifeline, the suburban railway far behind, which is ferrying about 2.5 lakh commuters daily.

Experts in the report said that there were several reasons for buses to be the No. 1 commuting option during COVID-19. This is because they were running when the trains were not on track. They also offer last-mile connectivity, unlike trains where there need to be feeder routes.

Let us try and capitalise on this and use it as a turnaround to the fortunes of the bus in Mumbai.

Buses are an intrinsic and important part of the transport network in the city.

They had lost their sheen of late though, with a real struggle to survive. Though cutting bus fares helped, there was a real drop in frequency, leading to long waits for commuters at bus stops.

Let the think tank sit down and see how this period can be used to press our foot on the accelerator and regain the BEST's lost glory.

From digitisation to giving people proper information on when the next bus is to arrive and cutting delays, we can see Mumbaikars rushing to use the buses again post-pandemic.

The buses are the Mr Reliable of transport when it comes to monsoon and flooded roads.

They are the ones that can navigate waterlogged roads and be Mumbai's lifeline during dire times. This period may be the new lease of life they needed, and now, that effort must continue bey

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