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BEST Buses Likely To Run On ATAL SETU
BEST Buses Likely To Run On ATAL SETU: In a strategic move to enhance public transportation connectivity, the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking is contemplating the inclusion of the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) in its operational routes. The initiative aims to address the demands of citizens residing in Panvel, Kharghar, Ulwe, and neighboring areas who seek improved public transport options.
Expanding the Fleet
The decision to integrate MTHL into BEST bus routes hinges on the acquisition of additional single and double-decker AC buses. Currently, BEST operates a fleet of 2,954 buses, which falls short of meeting the demands of existing routes. Vijay Singhal, the General Manager of BEST Undertaking, highlighted the plan to introduce more buses in the coming days before finalizing the routes on MTHL.
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To meet the increased demand, BEST is in the process of acquiring more AC buses, including 50 AC double-decker e-buses from Switch Mobility and 25 single-decker e-buses from Olectra. Sources suggest that a combination of around 5-10 double and single-decker buses could potentially operate on MTHL.
Chalo Premium BEST Buses For Panvel Kharghar Ulwe
BEST Buses Likely To Run On ATAL SETU: To further cater to commuters from Panvel, Kharghar, Ulwe, and nearby areas, BEST plans to deploy Chalo Premium BEST buses on the MTHL route. This move aligns with the citizens’ persistent demand for an augmented public transport system to ensure the success of MTHL.
Views of Transport Experts
Transport experts emphasize the importance of dispelling the perception that MTHL primarily caters to motorists. AV Shenoy, a transport expert, suggests that incorporating bus routes on MTHL connecting different districts could enhance coverage, allowing buses to cover more kilometers per day.
Promoting public transportation on MTHL is seen as a crucial step towards the development of the envisioned ‘Third Mumbai.’ The long-term plan involves transforming 323 sq km into a city that encompasses the emerging hubs of Panvel, Uran, and other regions beyond MTHL.
Toll-Free Advocacy on ATAL Setu
Sources within BEST indicate that the administration will advocate for zero tolls for their buses, emphasizing the public transport nature of their service. Currently, tolls for buses on Atal Setu range from ₹830 for a single journey to ₹1,245 for a return trip. The call for government-run buses on MTHL without toll charges resonates with former BEST Committee member Ravi Raja.
Toll Rates on Atal Setu
Intercity Tourist Buses
While intercity tourist buses currently avoid MTHL due to deviations from their original routes, the bridge is utilized for pre-booked journeys to destinations like Alibaug or Pune. Families, friends, and offices pre-book minibuses, paying tolls based on their preferred route to optimize travel time and distance.
The potential integration of BEST buses on MTHL signifies a pivotal step towards bolstering public transportation and realizing the broader vision of urban development in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. As the city progresses, strategic collaborations between transport authorities and civic entities will be vital in meeting the evolving needs of commuters and fostering sustainable growth.