Commuters demand more women's special BEST buses as passengers increase

Only a limited number of BEST and ST buses are operating in Mumbai due to the coronavirus lockdown. However, with increasing number of passengers, women are facing concerns with their commute on a daily basis.

Commuters demand more women's special BEST buses as passengers increase

Coronavirus cases in the city have seen a rise since the last few weeks, and several citizens are not able to travel to work, as the city's lifeline - Mumbai local trains - have not been functional for the general public. Currently, the services are allowed only for selected workers from the essential services. However, people in the suburbs are travelling on the buses, due to which the commuters often face a long queue and crowd.

Officials have noted a significant increase in the number of passengers travelling by BEST bus and state transport. Due to this, several have been violating the rules of social distancing and this increase is posing a threat to the spread of coronavirus infection.

Among the travellers every day are women, who face several concerns due to the rush. In order to avoid inconvenience, the officials from the concerned departments, have demanded the government to allow special bus services for women on 29 routes. Operations of these buses had stopped before the lockdown was imposed in the state.

As per data, officials were operating 55 full-time special bus services for women out of which only on 29 routes in Mumbai. However, they have not been resumed yet.

Currently, a total of 3,300 of 3,500 BEST buses are running, however, the planning needs to be organised, especially during this phase. Earlier, womens special buses were running between Mantralaya, CSMT, Andheri East, Kannamwar Nagar, Kurla Railway Station, Bandra Station, Gorai Depot, Santacruz, ICICI Bank BKC and Bandra Terminus. These services were stopped temporarily due to the lockdown

Currently. only 31 out of 37 Tejaswini services have joined BEST's fleet and officials have asked to operate them only during the peak hours, in the morning and evening, and not full time, and as per reports more than 18 lakhs commuters travel using these buses in the current phase.

Commuters have demanded more buses and for the local train services to resume. But the government has not taken a call regarding the same, as yet.

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