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Shivneri still going strong!

Tuesday, February 06, 2018
By Manjiri Chitre

Shivneri is still the most preferred mode of transport for commuters even after 16 years

Almost 16 years since the inception of the sturdy luxurious AC buses, Shivneri buses by the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC), the buses have not experienced a drop in the passenger count. According to several official sources, the commuters traveling to Pune, find Shivneri the most suitable and comfortable mode of transport.

Shivneri that is in its 16th year, was started in 2002 officially in Mumbai by the MSRTC. According to official MSRTC sources, the transport corporation had just five buses which used to complete 20 trips per day. Now, MSRTC owns 125 Shivneri buses which operate on six routes and completes 224 trips a day. “Dadar to Pune is the most popular route and Dadar is the most popular station from which passengers board the bus. We have around 104 trips per day on the Dadar-Pune route per day,” said a senior MSRTC official, on the condition of anonymity. Apart from it, officials claimed that the frequency of the Shivneri buses is quite high, with a frequency rate of 15 minutes.

Official MSRTC sources claimed that Shivneri buses have a total of ten thousand passengers per day on the Mumbai-Pune route, extending up to 20,000 passengers per day on  weekends and long holidays. “One Shivneri bus takes approximately 45 passengers all at once. We notice a rise in the passenger count on weekends usually because of people travelling to Pune,'' said a Senior Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) official, on the condition of anonymity. The official further claimed that MSRTC collects around Rs. 36 lakhs as a per day revenue from the travellers of these buses.

Commuters point of view:
MSRTC's Shivneri buses have been experiencing a constant passenger count without a drop, since its inception. According to sources, commuters prefer Shivneri as a mode of transport. While the The Afternoon D&C spoke to commuters, Nikhil Karkhanis, a frequent traveller of Shivneri buses, said, “I usually travel by Shivneri when I have to go to Pune. According to me, it is the most secure government mode of transport. Along with it, the bus quality is fair enough, so is the frequency of the buses. Trains do not always stop at all the stations. There are some places in Pune which are far away from the station, so taking a Shivneri bus is convenient.” He further claimed that Shivneri buses are timebound, leaving aside the unavoidable traffic disruptions.

Another frequent passenger,  said, “The buses are very comfortable. With a gap of only 20 minutes between each trip, we reach our destination much faster. The charges for the tickets are pretty affordable as well. However, MSRTC's new Shivshahi buses are much more comfortable.”

Passengers travelling by Shivneri buses find the cost of tickets reasonable as well. One ticket from Dadar to Pune as well as Thane to Pune costs up to Rs. 420. Borivali to Pune costs up to Rs. 515. Pune to Aurangabad and Pune to Kolhapur costs up to Rs. 625. Commuters claim that the costs are reasonable and much cheaper or almost similar to the cost of train tickets. However, after the MSRTC deployed Shivshahi buses a few months back, the corporation stopped plying Shivneri buses on the Pune to Nashik route.

Suggestions:
Despite Shivneri buses being one of the most comfortable forms of transport, transport experts on conddition of anonymity, put forth some suggestions to better the bus services. Sources claimed that Shivneri buses have been the same since its inception, and should have seen an improvement with time. However, if the passengers ask for changes, the authorities will take action. Some sources, on condition of anonymity suggest that the passengers ask for certain changes in the Shivneri buses.

  • Shivneri buses should provide more facilities such as WiFi. The buses have been providing a water bottle and a newspaper to the passengers every day since the time of its inception. The tradition has been carried all along.
     
  • As the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has installed bio-toilets in their buses, MSRTC as well, should have bio-toilets installed in Shivneri buses. Along with it, experts suggest tahat the passengers ask for a small pantry in the buses. This will cut down the 20-minute halt between trips, saving the time and making it possible for commuters to reach their location faster.

MSRTC makes a revenue of approximately
Rs. 36 lakhs per day from the ticket bookings of Shivneri buses, claim official MSRTC sources.

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