Pune: The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) of Pune division is planning to commence air-conditioned semi-luxury Shivshahi bus service from various locations to Junnar to cater to tourists to the historic Shivneri Fort.
The division has sent a proposal to its headquarters in Mumbai enumerating three routes namely Kurla-Junnar, Panvel-Junnar and Pandharpur-Junnar where the service can possibly be started.
Apart from this, the division also plans to link Pune with Hyderabad and Baramati with Shivshahi service and a proposal for this has been sent to headquarters.
Officers with MSRTC said that since the aim of the Shivshahi service is to cater to long-distance travel, it won’t be possible to start a Pune-Junnar service as the distance is merely 90 km.
“The superior office may choose one or more of the three routes suggested by us to connect to Junnar. The plan is to tap tourists who visit Shivneri Fort and often book private cabs due to lack of comfortable options. With Shiv Shahi, we will provide that option and we are confident that this service will fare well,” said a senior MSRTC official.
MSRTC introduced the Shiv Shahi service in September 2017 to target the mid-section customers who want comparative comfort but are not able to afford high-end fares of Shivneri buses – which is Volvo, air-conditioned service. Shiv Shahi is a semi-luxury air-conditioned bus and the fare is only Rs 30 to 60 higher than semi-luxury, non-air conditioned bus Hirkani. Since its launch, the service has proven to be popular among the passengers.
There are about 1,500 Shiv Shahi buses in the MSRTC fleet. Recently, Pune Division started Shiv Shahi services from Pune to Goa, Pune to Shirdi and Pune to Mahabaleshwar Shirdi,