BEST buses cannot make 25% of its trips due to staff unavailability and traffic

BEST buses cannot make 25% of its trips due to staff unavailability and traffic

Mumbai’s lifeline, BEST buses carry nearly 33 lakh commuters each day. The authorities have now shared some statistics on the running of these buses, which shed a light on the losses incurred by the enterprise, mostly due to unavoidable circumstances.

Speaking at the BEST panel meeting, Sunil Ganacharya of the BJP said “Some of our depots have shown huge loss of km. For example, at Backbay depot, the lack of km due to unavailability of staff was 21%, while the overall loss of km due to various factors was over 30%.”

He also added that the loss of km due to congestion makes up for only 4.5% of the total km lost. The real issue appears to be lack of staff to run the buses, which needs to be probed, he added. 

Another BEST panel member Shrikant Kavthankar said that cutting down losses by just 10%  could help the authorities save between Rs 150-200 crores. As per data published by BEST, around 3,200 buses operate in the city and they miss around 42.7 lakh km per month. These buses are scheduled to run a total of 1.7 crore km in a month, which means the buses fall short on 25% of their scheduled distance.

The authorities add that 25.8 lakh km are lost due to the unavailability of staff, while traffic jams account for 16.4 lakh km of the lost distance. The authorities add that a further 2,348 km are lost due to road mishaps and 46,712 km due to issues pertaining to engineering. In depots like Wadala, authorities noted that staff unavailability was as high as 18% in a month.  

Meanwhile, BEST General Manager, Surendrakumar Bagde, says there’s not much they can do about certain factors, like the Metro construction, for example, which is causing delays and abruptions in service. “It will continue as long as there is Metro construction and other road-related work. But it should gradually decrease in the coming months,” Bagde said while speaking to the BEST panel. 

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