Mumbai, June 7: In a major development, the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport, popularly known as BEST, will resume bus services for all passengers, including those in non-essential services from June 8, Monday in Mumbai. However, travelling in the BEST buses will not be same as before as the passengers need to maintain social distancing amid the novel coronavirus crisis.
After Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced COVID-19 lockdown in late March, the bus services were suspended. Only dedicated services for those involved in essential work were continued. Mumbai Revs Back to Life in Lockdown 5.0 After Nearly 80 Days.
The social-distancing norms will be strictly followed with only 30 passengers allowed, with a maximum of five standing in a BEST Bus from Monday, Hindustan Times reported. BEST is the second-largest public transport system in Mumbai after suburban train network.
The sitting capacity of BEST bus is 54 passengers. Now, 30 passengers will be allowed from Monday, which includes 25 sitting and five standing. BEST has a fleet of 3,500 buses. The buses will not halt at containment zones.
“30 people will be allowed to commute in one bus. A proportionate number of people will be allowed to commute in double-deckers and minibuses. The buses will be operational throughout the city,” said Manoj Varade, BEST spokesperson, was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
From Monday, 10 percent of employees across all sectors are to resume work. Initially, 2,000 buses will be introduced and later additional buses will be added after checking the increase of passengers.