Amidst the push for enhanced public transportation, the Maharashtra State Transport (ST) Corporation is exhibiting hesitation in deploying E-Shivneri buses on the new Atal Bihari Vajpayee Sea Bridge. Despite survey results indicating significant time savings, the corporation remains reticent, eliciting demands from passengers for routes connecting Swargate-Mantralaya and Pune-Mantralaya to commence from the bridge, consequently reducing travel time between Mumbai and Pune.
A survey conducted by the ST Corporation reveals that the route via the bridge is approximately 5 kilometers shorter than the traditional Vashi-Kalamboli route. This alternative route has the potential to save nearly an hour of travel time, particularly during peak hours. Despite the Vice President’s directive to initiate two buses from Swargate and Pune Station to Mantralaya, no action has been taken by the transport department thus far.
Concerns loom over the feasibility of establishing a bus route necessitating a minimum of 45 passengers from a single station. While some advocate for a trial run with one or two buses, officials cite a dearth of decisive decision-makers, hinting that a resolution may emanate from headquarters despite the completed survey.
Reports suggest that ticket prices for public transport are expected to remain unchanged, even as fuel costs and travel time are anticipated to decrease. ST Corporation officials assure that ticket prices will not escalate due to tolls, as the reduction in fuel expenses will offset the additional costs. However, doubts persist regarding the corporation’s commitment to enhancing public transportation and passenger convenience, given its history of delaying infrastructure projects like the Atal Setu bridge, despite their potential benefits.