Mumbai: With lockdown relaxations being implemented, the number of passengers commuting to and fro suburbs of Mumbai has increased considerably. Keeping this in mind and to avoid overcrowding, the State Transport (ST) department has decided to increase its buses plying on road for personnel engaged in essential services.
The state government had announced lockdown in the month of March. Only individuals engaged in essential services were allowed to commute through the ST and Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) buses to offices and home. But now, since June 8, the government has allowed government and private offices to resume operations with 15 and 10 per cent staff strength respectively. A large number of employees including nurses, police, firemen, doctors have come on roads but the fleet of buses available for their transportation has remained the same. As a result, there has been overcrowding in buses and at the bus stops.
During the stringent lockdown, the ST department was plying 200 buses which were doing more than a thousand trips daily to ferry commuters from suburban areas. Since June 1, the number of buses was increased but the crowding persisted. Due to this situation, the ST has decided to add 70 more buses to its operational fleet.
Rahul Toro, General Manager of ST, said "We were operating 200 buses initially but from June 1 we increased the count to 462. Since June 8, the total number of buses plying on roads has been 574. Now we are adding 70 more buses for commuters from suburban areas."