Mumbai's longest double decker route is back
The route between Worli and Colaba opened to commuters on Wednesday; the BEST also issued guidelines regarding the use of these buses
Over two weeks after mid-day highlighted the need of having double deckers in operation and their benefits in the period of social distancing, the BEST Undertaking threw open the city's longest double decker bus route on Wednesday. It also came up with detailed guidelines on the use of these buses. Route number 124 runs the 12.2 km distance between Worli and Colaba.
"Double decker buses on route 124 will be restored with effect from July 29," a board put up at the Worli bus depot had stated. Bus route 124 is one of the most popular double decker bus routes, passing the sea face and connecting iconic places between Worli and Colaba. The BEST, as of today, has a fleet of 120 double decker buses.
The guidelines say that the double decker buses will have only one conductor. Only seated passengers will be allowed on the upper deck. On the lower deck of the bus, besides seated passengers, only five standing passengers will be permitted to travel. Once this capacity is reached, no more passengers will be allowed on board the bus.
In this era of social distancing, though the passenger-carrying capacity has been struck by half, double deckers can carry more passengers than an average single-decker bus.
The distance the longest double decker bus route operates on
Staff seeks isolation beds in every depot
BEST employees have sought 20 beds at each bus depot to isolate staff, as trade unions alleged that the number of COVID-19 patients among staffers is still high and have floated a petition seeking support. "A temporary COVID-19 hospital for BEST staff and families should be started at the training centre at Wadala depot. Also, at least 20 beds should be made available at each depot for isolation of employees as more than 1,350 employees have tested positive so far," Shashank Sharad Rao, convener, BEST Workers Joint Action Committee said. BEST officials refused to speak on the issue.
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