On Day 1, MSRTC operates 550 buses across MMR
Special MSRTC services for women from far-off places like Panvel, Dombivli, Virar to start from Sept 21
With permission to ferry 100 per cent of the seating capacity of passengers in buses from Friday in place, the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) said that it was operating around 550 buses in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region from far-off places like Palghar, Raigad and Thane districts. It has also announced special exclusive MSRTC services for women from places like Panvel, Dombivli and Virar from September 21.
MSRTC officials said two passengers are being allowed to sit next to each other as was the norm pre-pandemic, though the limit of five standees in one bus remains unchanged. MSRTC officials said that they were expecting a good response in their ridership and have also launched a campaign, appealing to passengers to take the bus.
MSRTC Managing Director and Vice-Chairman Shekhar Channe told mid-day there will be more clarity in the number of bookings on the first day, etc. by Saturday morning.
With 550 buses, the decision will also bring some respite to commuters from MMR which is facing a shortage of public transport in the absence of suburban train services for common citizens. The MSRTC has so far been operating over 5,000 buses all over the state, carrying an average 5.5 lakh passengers every day.
Officials said passengers will have to follow COVID- 19 protocols such as wearing masks and using sanitisers while travelling, adding that in Gujarat and Karnataka, ST buses were already operating with 100 per cent passenger capacity.
Special buses for women
The MSRTC on Friday announced special exclusive MSRTC services for women from far-off places like Panvel, Dombivli and Virar as per their office timings in both the directions. The buses will begin operation from September 21.
WR increases trains
WR on Friday announced it will increase the number of daily special suburban services from 350 to 500 from Monday, September 21 to maintain social distancing and ease overcrowding. These trains are only for essential workers. Of the increased services, there will be 30 additional services during morning rush hours and 29 in the evening hours. The break-up of these services is available on the WR website and social media accounts. Commuters said there is more traffic on Central Railway (CR) compared to WR. "Why not increase the services on CR too?" Pravin Shetra, a CR commuter said. On CR, at present, there are 355 services running and as of now there are no plans to increase them, officials said. Commuters have appealed to the government to restart local train services for everyone. "The crowd is getting restless and the average travel time is not just killing and tiring, but also expensive," said Amit Kumar Singh, a commuter.
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