Mumbai: Ridership on feeder routes may see spurt by 4-5 lakh | Mumbai News – Times of India

MUMBAI: With all those who are fully vaccinated allowed to travel on local trains from August 15, the BEST transport undertaking expects an increase in daily bus ridership by 4-5 lakh on 51 feeder routes.
“Our present daily ridership is around 21 lakh and we expect this to go beyond 25 lakh,” said an official. The undertaking has drawn up plans to deploy more buses on feeder routes outside railway stations from August 15. The first day being a public holiday, it does not expect a rush, but it will deploy maximum numbers starting Monday outside stations on Central, Harbour and Western lines.
BEST will curtail some routes along the north-south axis (parallel to railway lines) as commuters make a switch to local trains.
“The point-to-point journeys from station to your office or place of work for last mile connectivity will be in demand. As of now, office-goers and workers will be among our daily commuters. Once colleges and schools restart, we will add more riders,” an official from BEST’s traffic wing said. BEST had a ridership of around 35 lakh daily prior to the pandemic.
“I am prepared to go by the suburban train to office as I am fully vaccinated, but the bus also plays an important role in my journey,” said Dinesh Salian, a Kalyan resident whose office is at Nariman Point. He recalled how he would wait in queues outside CSMT to catch a bus for Nariman Point.
BEST has been asked not to carry standees. So, unless it improves its frequency and deploys more buses on busy routes, it will not be able to cater to the rush.
BEST plans to have inspectors outside bigger railway stations like CSMT, Churchgate, Kurla, etc to assess the crowd and use wireless systems to request the nearest depot or Wadala control room to send more buses to clear the rush.—Somit.Sen


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