New buses for Metro Rail in Andheri go practically empty

Written By kom nampultig on Rabu, 30 Juli 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Over a month after BEST inaugurated a new bus service especially for Metro Rail users in Mumbai, residents have spotted the new route go practically empty, even during peak hour. Mumbai's first Metro Rail project from Versova to Ghatkopar was launched June 8.

Since June 25, spanking new buses have been plying along two feeder routes named 'Metro Pheri 1' and 'Metro Pheri 2' for passengers who wish to connect with the three Metro Rail stations along J P Road in Andheri (West).

"Particularly during this week when it has been raining so heavily, all other bus routes in Andheri are packed to capacity, except the Metro Pheri. You will barely see two or three passengers here because this ring route plies a short distance. It is a pity to see shiny new mini-buses operate unnecessarily when they could be pressed into service to ease passenger load on other crowded routes," said Sriram Shetty, a shopkeeper at Veera Desai Road.

Locals say there was no need to launch a special feeder bus route to the Metro rail stations. Ravi Jiandani, a resident of Lokhandwala Complex, said, "The Metro Rail line is located along the arterial JP Road where several buses already ply. Most passengers utilize routes with better frequency like 266, 249, 251, 252 and 254 to travel to Andheri station, and they alight along the Metro line if they wish. They can hardly be bothered to wait for the Metro Pheri which arrives only after 15-20 minutes."

He points out that a group of visually challenged youths, who board bus route 266 from Lokhandwala for Andheri station every afternoon, sometimes alight at Indian Oil junction and climb to the D N Nagar Metro station.

In fact residents of faraway suburbs like Goregaon and Borivli wish that special bus routes were started for them to join the Metro line in Andheri.

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