The Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) seems to be gaining acceptance in the city gradually.
The number of passengers using the two BRTS routes has touched 20,000 per day, according to official figures.
The 20-km route from Dumas resort to Sarthana Jakat Naka and 10 km from Udhna Darwaja to Sachin covers only 20-22% per cent area of the city’s four zones and touches about only 20% of the population.
“We had maximum passengers of 22,000 people during the first free travel month of April. We were expecting 50-60 per cent of that in six months but people have responded very well and we have almost reached that figure,” said an official from BRTS cell of SMC.
Looking at the response, SMC has decided to increase the number of buses on Canal Corridor starting from Dumas resort to Sarthana Jakat Naka during peak hours of morning and evening.
“We will increase the number of buses from present 12 to 14 during peak hours and would reduce the frequency time from 12 to 10 minutes so more people can make use of the mass transport system,” said Jatin Shah, in-charge BRTS cell.
The running time of the buses would also be increased by one hour in the evenings and the last bus would be available to people till 10.30 pm.
SMC is aiming to start six new routes by September covering distance of 42 km. Once operational, the civic body expects the number daily passengers to touch 50,000.
“The success of these routes show that majority of population will prefer mass transport if given an efficient one,” said Milind Torwane, municipal commissioner
“The increase in passengers is visible despite non-availability of feeder routes to connect BRTS and without any marketing efforts. Feeder routes are likely to become operational in major locations during coming few months,” he said.
SMC has ordered for 300 buses to provide transport on feeder routes and they are likely to be operational by Diwali.