BEST set to start 22-seat AC buses where you can book seats on an app
Mumbai: BEST plans to introduce an aggregator bus service where one can book a seat on an AC midibus through an app, much like one does for booking an Ola or Uber cab.
BEST has budgeted Rs 25 crore for 50 such buses for the current financial year. They will be shorter than BEST’s normal red buses but longer than minibuses that operate in cities like Kolkata.
The buses are expected to be run on short routes, particularly those starting from railway and Metro stations. Each 22-seater bus will be fitted with AC units at BEST’s workshops; this will cut the cost of each bus to Rs 50 lakh.
"We want commuters to be assured of a bus’s arrival on time and a seat on it. Often people opt for private cabs or taxis because they are not sure when the next bus will arrive or because they don’t want to travel standing,” said BEST general manager Jagdish Patil.
Drivers of the buses will have a uniform different from the khaki worn by the drivers of regular BEST buses. “Also, we will provide free wi-fi, besides offering water bottles and newspapers,” said an official.
BEST will also be part of four SATIS (Station Area Traffic Improvement Scheme) projects in the island city and the suburbs. The BMC and BEST are conducting a feasibility study of SATIS with railway and traffic police authorities at Kurla, Bandra and Andheri.
The SATIS project will be at busy stations and will help in faster dispersal of buses. The project seeks to segregate buses, autos and taxis at stands, minimize congestion, and ensure a smooth flow of traffic. A similar project is functional outside Thane railway station.