By: Pune Pulse
December 8, 2023
Pune : Passengers traveling from Mumbai to Pune on a Shivneri bus on December 2 faced a challenging journey, marked by a delayed start, frequent unscheduled halts, disagreements, and last-minute changes in stops.
Typically, Shivneri buses, part of MSRTC’s premium service, complete the Pune-Mumbai route in less than four hours. However, this particular bus took seven hours, according to the passengers. Before boarding the bus, issues had already arisen. Upon arrival at the Borivali stand, passengers were informed that their initial bus was delayed and they would need to board another. The MSRTC staff at the bus stop handed a slip and instructed them to give it to the driver of the alternative bus, which was parked elsewhere. It took the passengers approximately 20 minutes to locate it.
An irate passenger said, “Once we reached the bus, I discovered someone occupying the seat I had reserved. It took a heated argument with the driver to claim my rightful seat.” While leaving Mumbai, the driver decided to make stops at every bus stop to pick up additional passengers.
According to regulations, MSRTC buses are only permitted to stop at designated locations.
However in this bus, as per the passengers, the driver would halt the bus and instruct passengers to board. Afterward, he would resume driving but made additional stops along the way. Occasionally, the driver would move throughout the bus, requesting them to pay before returning to his seat. Notably, there was no conductor on the bus.
The passengers further said that at one point, a man entered the bus and began collecting money from new passengers, but he did not provide them with tickets. This continued for some time. It wasn’t until 11.30 pm that they realized that they had reached the food mall on the expressway. By that time, passengers should have already been in Pune or at least close to it.
As per the information provided, passengers confronted the driver, he insisted that MSRTC had permitted them to stop at all stops. Passengers, questioned the difference between MSRTC and private buses, considering the quality of service provided by Shivneri.
The Shivneri service has been facing complaints of delays for quite some time now. According to transport experts, long-range intercity buses play a crucial role in an efficient transit system. They are cost-effective, occupy less space, and most importantly, can transport daily commuters directly to the heart of their destination city.
The authorities acknowledged that the buses cannot stop anywhere and mentioned that although some buses with conductors do this while coming from Mumbai, it is not permitted.
Passenger complaints will be thoroughly investigated. The official provided email addresses (firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com) for people to report their complaints, requesting them to provide the bus number, travel date, and a detailed description of the incident.