A sigh of relief for the commuters in city as after a long wait, Aapli Bus service is set to restart its operations post lockdown in city from October 28 onwards. Narendra Borkar, Chairperson, Transport Committee, Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), chaired meeting of Transport Department on Monday and directed officials to chart out the action plan for restarting the bus operations to provide relief to citizens who are facing hardships in absence of services. As per information, the city buses would ply with full occupancy on the lines of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC).
A meeting was held at NMC wherein officials of Transport Department held detailed discussions with city bus operators to determine routes where buses would ply and guidelines that would be in place for the operational staff. As per information, all in first phase only 90 buses would ply in totality as the response needs to be factored in. The routes on which the buses would ply is going to be decided by Delhi Integrated Multimodal Transit System Limited (DIMTS), the liasoning agency overseeing the four bus operators of civic body, but priority is likely to be areas on outskirts of city from where maximum people come to city in connection with work. The 15-km periphery from city centre would be focus of initial restart and around 30 buses would be operated and thereafter numbers be increased steadily. Given the apprehension among citizens about COVID-19 pandemic, at present one does not know how the response to city buses would be so the number of buses on roads would be decided as per need of travellers.
The operating staff would have to wear gloves, ensure all protocols are followed and social distancing is maintained as and when possible, use of hand sanitizers frequently etc. Similarly passengers would also need to comply with all the instructions like wearing masks, avoiding travel in case they are ill, keeping safe distance and avoid crowding. Before lockdown started from last week of March about 361 buses used to ply in city providing a cheaper travel option. At present, in absence of buses, the autorickshaw are plying but people are finding it quite expensive mode of travel. Especially working class populations who have daily traverse long distance the resumption of bus service would provide them quite a relief. In fact, local bus operations had already resumed in state capital Mumbai long back despite lurking fear of further spike in COVID-19 cases whereas in city State Government took its own sweet time in accepting proposal to restart the services.