Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - Sang­hami­tra Sengupta sang­hami­tra.sengupta@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NAVI MUM­BAI: The Navi Mum­bai Mu­nic­i­pal Trans­port (NMMT) will ob­serve ‘ Bus day’ on Fe­bru­ary 23. The plan is to en­cour­age more peo­ple to opt for the cor­po­ra­tion’s bus ser­vice for a day and not to take out their ve­hi­cles.

“We will have ‘ Bus day’ on Fe­bru­ary 23, which is the first time ini­tia­tive of the civic trans­port body. Cur­rently, we are ply­ing around 270 buses ev­ery­day how­ever on the bus day we aim to ply around 370 of our buses which is al­most 100 per­cent of the fleet,” said Sabu Daniel, chair­man of NMMT.

A sim­i­lar ini­tia­tive was started by Pune Mu­nic­i­pal Trans­port around three years ago and it was a suc­cess. Of­fi­cials said that they are ex­pect­ing a favourable re­sponse here too.

“We will give out mes­sages like ‘travel max­i­mum by NMMT buses’, ‘use your own city’s bus ser­vice’, or ‘ travel by NMMT, travel safe’ through posters, ban­ners and pam­phlets. Vol­un­teers will be de­ployed to urge com­muters to take the bus,” he said.

NMMT has a fleet of 376 buses, of th­ese, 318 buses ply. A to­tal of 145 are diesel- run, 161 are CNG and the rest are AC Volvo buses.

The buses ply in Navi Mum­bai, Mum­bai, Thane, Kalyan and Uran. The buses ply on 55 routes, of which, 16 are feeder routes. The trans­port body will in­tro­duce three more feeder routes on Bus Day which will pass through Belapur, Ulwe, Vashi, Kopar Khairane and Ghan­soli.

Of­fi­cials said NMMT earns Rs1.7 crore to Rs2 crore monthly. “We have been suf­fer­ing a loss of around Rs2.5 crore monthly for the past 2-3 years. The start­ing of new feeder routes last year has brought down the losses by al­most 40 per cent. Through Bus Day, we aim to urge more peo­ple to use NMMT buses,” said Shirish Arad­wad, trans­port man­ager, NMMT.

Com­muters have wel­comed the ini­tia­tive. “In to­day’s times when the pol­lu­tion lev­els are so high in the city, it is es­sen­tial to use min­i­mum ve­hi­cles,” said Surabhi Iyer, 29, res­i­dent of Nerul.

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