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Old 29th July 2016, 16:51   #211
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Default Re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

Can someone please explain to me what are the reasons none of the transport undertakings in Mumbai metropolitan region are willing to start AC Volvo services exclusively to and from CSIA International airport terminal ?? I guess there are only two or three services, correct me if I am wrong. This is a big minus for Bombay. CSIA Mumbai is at par with IGI Delhi in every aspect except for availability of AC bus services starting right from airport. Any particular reason why so ?

Last edited by vivek95 : 29th July 2016 at 16:53. Reason: Typo
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Old 29th July 2016, 17:04   #212
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Default Re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

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Originally Posted by vivek95 View Post
Can someone please explain to me what are the reasons none of the transport undertakings in Mumbai metropolitan region are willing to start AC Volvo services exclusively to and from CSIA International airport terminal ?? I guess there are only two or three services, correct me if I am wrong.
Agree with you, there is lack of AC bus service from CSIA.There are few bus services which you can take when you go near Auto Stand.
I believe there was AC bus service some time in past which was till Colaba.

These buses can be of great help to those who travel light and don't need an entire cab.

Even Pune which has the worst bus service in India, has a decent AC bus service from Lohegaon Airport to Hinjewadi phase 3.Buses are Marcopolo, but all are in good condition.

Last edited by silverado : 29th July 2016 at 17:06.
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Old 29th July 2016, 18:12   #213
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Default Re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

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Can someone point out to the correct contact whom I can communicate my requests?
You can try sending emails on the below addresses & expect a reply after about 2 weeks which was the case in my instance!

dmchd@bestundertaking.com
probestundertaking@gmail.com
transport@bestundertaking.com
gm@bestundertaking.com
dgmto@bestundertaking.com
dgmte@bestundertaking.com
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Old 25th August 2016, 16:34   #214
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Default Re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

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Originally Posted by vivek95 View Post
Can someone please explain to me what are the reasons none of the transport undertakings in Mumbai metropolitan region are willing to start AC Volvo services exclusively to and from CSIA International airport terminal ?
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Originally Posted by silverado View Post
Agree with you, there is lack of AC bus service from CSIA.There are few bus services which you can take when you go near Auto Stand.
I believe there was AC bus service some time in past which was till Colaba.

That is because BEST as well as NMMT tried starting services, and both of them failed to make the routes a success. For BEST the bus routes were dead on arrival, but NMMT failing surprised me. It is possible that they didn't study the market correctly.

@ghodlur any luck with the BEST officials?

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Akmar, why would you want to inflict pain on self? Knowing bad their condition is, I would not travel in a BEST, even if the ride is free!
I can now give a more detailed answer to this question. Its a question of "something is better than nothing". NMMT Volvos are always full. With the rising traffic, it was getting increasingly uncomfortable to stand in NMMT. What is the next option? BEST. In a BEST AC bus you can sit comfortably and go to sleep/do anything else while stuck in traffic. I would rather choose this over standing in NMMT. Rickshaw, Uber etc are too expensive to be daily rides. The BEST bus at least keeps outside pollution away & carries me from point A to B in decent level of comfort. With the recent fare cut, it does not pinch the wallet either. Many passengers seem to be following this same logic, as the buses have started filling up after cut in fares. At the same time, NMMT Volvos on 123/125 are less crowded now.

And sometimes, you can get bonus of free entertainment also, like I got today morning.



I got into the bus. It was showing signs of having a poor engine. Finally, on the left turn from Western Express Highway to JVLR, the slope became too much for it to handle. It turned and began climbing laboriously at walking speed. It halted to pick up a passenger at bus stop right on the slope. Now that was the final straw. The bus simply did not move from there. Driver trying to make it move - AC switched off, 1st gear manually selected & pedal to metal. Engine only made noise, no movement. Luckily within a couple of minutes another bus came, and all passengers were transferred to that bus.
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Old 25th August 2016, 19:38   #215
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Originally Posted by AkMar View Post
@ghodlur any luck with the BEST officials?
I have dropped a mail addressing all the e-mail ids and its been more than 20 days now and as yet no response from them. It would be too much for asking to get a reply from them but I am hopeful. Meanwhile my struggle with TMT officials continues.
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Old 25th August 2016, 20:54   #216
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I would not be surprised if MIAL is seeking royalty for operating from their area, as being done with other vendors conducting business within the airport premises. If so; it would not be economically viable. This is just a surmise though.
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Old 7th September 2016, 19:31   #217
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Default Re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

Tata has bagged orders for 5000 new buses (link to thread (Tata Motors bags orders for 5000 buses from STUs)). Of these, 300 buses are ordered by BEST. A birdie tells me that BEST's order is for fully built buses.
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Old 23rd September 2016, 10:15   #218
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Originally Posted by AkMar View Post
. A birdie tells me that BEST's order is for fully built buses.
High time that they start using fully built buses. Not only it'll offer better user experience, they are also aesthetically and ergonomically built for both driver and passengers. Wondering what stops them from using the JANBUS? TMT is overflowing with the new swanky JANBUSES.
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Old 28th December 2016, 13:52   #219
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Default Re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

Am in Mumbai in last 3 weeks of Dec 2016. The things about BEST buses that I noticed/feel:

- Maintenance seems to have improved from 2 years ago
- Quite a few Tata buses, and their maintenance also has improved unlike 2 years ago.
- Cerita/Kinglong buses are as bad as ever. I saw one bus that was converted into a non-AC bus (like the kinds that Blore BMTC did to defunct Tata Marcopolo buses, before eventually completely retiring them) with new ST-bus like livery.
- The new bucket-like seats are very bad. The old bench seats are more comfortable, I wish they go back to the old seats.
- The TV displays are non-functional. They should remove them, as they reduce visibility needlessly.
- The electronic route# displays are non-functional for many buses that have them. Their style/size looks more elegant and reliable on the BMTC buses, which I know are Hanover make. BEST should switch to Hanover.
- All conductors using portable machine to print tickets in a jiffy, which is good. And conductors are quite polite, and give back even the smallest of change (sometimes later if you give them a large denomination, but they do give it back eventually).
- The boarding and alighting door positions in BEST buses are best suited for India, a country with crowded buses (boarding gate at rear, alighting gate in front). They should stick with this. I dont understand why other municipal transports switched to a Volvo-like format that has boarding gate in the middle. It makes passenger movement very inefficient (some go back, some front, etc)
- Rear entry gate width has been widened. This makes it hard to use and unsafe (bcoz the grab bars are too far) I feel, and has needlessly reduced the seat-row count behind the gate from 2 to 1.
- Crowd in the buses has greatly reduced, even in peak hours.
- Ticket fares are much cheaper than BMTC
- The window style of vertical degree of freedom is the best for a hot country like India (well, a few buses do have horizontal sliding windows, I dunno why), bcoz it allows a window seat passenger to adjust his window situation without hurting or affecting the person behind or in front of him.

This reaffirms my assessment that BEST is still the best in the country.

Last edited by vharihar : 28th December 2016 at 13:55.
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Old 28th December 2016, 14:19   #220
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Default Re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

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Originally Posted by vharihar View Post
Am in Mumbai in last 3 weeks of Dec 2016. The things about BEST buses that I noticed/feel:

- Maintenance seems to have improved from 2 years ago
- Quite a few Tata buses, and their maintenance also has improved unlike 2 years ago.
- This reaffirms my assessment that BEST is still the best in the country.
BEST buses surely have improved in terms of maintainance, there were also about 300 new non A/C buses introduced which were used to replace the old rickety ones. BEST has also gone back to Antony who was their coach builder in earlier days.

They need better route planning and need immediate attention on their AC services to get back passangers they lost to cars and even trains.

Regards
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Old 28th December 2016, 15:39   #221
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Default Re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

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Originally Posted by vharihar View Post
Am in Mumbai in last 3 weeks of Dec 2016. The things about BEST buses that I noticed/feel:
Agreed with all the points.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dieseltuned View Post
BEST buses surely have improved in terms of maintainance, there were also about 300 new non A/C buses introduced which were used to replace the old rickety ones. BEST has also gone back to Antony who was their coach builder in earlier days.
The 300 new non AC buses are yet to be delivered to BEST. Those you are referring to as new are actually old Tata CNGs which are being given a new body, as their original bodies were in a deplorable condition.

Yes, the AC buses need an urgent replacement. If not Volvos, at least something which will move at decent speeds, reach the top speed quickly & not breakdown. Ashok Leyland JanBus for example. Route planning too as you said, needs a change of mindset.
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Old 28th December 2016, 16:00   #222
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Default Re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

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Agreed with all the points.



The 300 new non AC buses are yet to be delivered to BEST. Those you are referring to as new are actually old Tata CNGs which are being given a new body, as their original bodies were in a deplorable condition.

Yes, the AC buses need an urgent replacement. If not Volvos, at least something which will move at decent speeds, reach the top speed quickly & not breakdown. Ashok Leyland JanBus for example. Route planning too as you said, needs a change of mindset.
Thanks AkMar,

I did not know that the new buses were just old ones with a new body. Though the new body seems well made. If I am not wrong they still carry forward the old serial numbers like MT/xxxx for a bus belonging to Magathane depot.

NMMT and TMT are eating into BEST's revenues. Routes like Borivali-Thane , Borivali-Vashi/New Bombay are now totally dominated by NMMT/TMT buses. BEST has just lost the plot on these routes with their poor buses.

New routes which should have been BEST's monopoly like Andheri-Airoli is also now seeing NMMT buses (Route 144 (NON AC) is now operational on this route by NMMT).

Some serious contemplation at the BEST top management and freeing it from political control can surely bring BEST back to the top.

In fact this can be a very good case study for business schools.

Regards
Dieseltuned
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Old 29th December 2016, 11:43   #223
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Default Re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

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Thanks AkMar,

I did not know that the new buses were just old ones with a new body. Though the new body seems well made. If I am not wrong they still carry forward the old serial numbers like MT/xxxx for a bus belonging to Magathane depot.
Yes, they do carry the old numbers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dieseltuned View Post
NMMT and TMT are eating into BEST's revenues. Routes like Borivali-Thane , Borivali-Vashi/New Bombay are now totally dominated by NMMT/TMT buses. BEST has just lost the plot on these routes with their poor buses.

New routes which should have been BEST's monopoly like Andheri-Airoli is also now seeing NMMT buses (Route 144 (NON AC) is now operational on this route by NMMT).

Some serious contemplation at the BEST top management and freeing it from political control can surely bring BEST back to the top.
All is not lost yet, I feel. Passengers are still willing to choose BEST's AC buses no matter how bad they are. It is quite common to see AC buses with standees on certain routes after fare was reduced earlier this year. Some routes are runaway success - feeders to BKC & SEEPZ from Bandra and Andheri stations respectively. AC buses run at 5-7 minute frequency on these routes yet are filled to capacity.

I am a daily passenger in Borivali to Powai/Airoli sector. My observation has been that NMMT's patronage has decreased after BEST's fare cut. Earlier, NMMT Volvos from Borivali to Navi Mumbai used to get around 30 standees regularly.That has come down greatly now. The buses still start from Borivali station with all seats occupied. But the passengers boarding from intermediate stops seem to prefer BEST AC buses now as one can travel seated in them. Even in the evenings, AC buses to Borivali have high levels of occupancy.

BEST needs to act fast and retain these passengers by improving the buses.
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Old 17th January 2017, 13:16   #224
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Default Re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

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Passengers are still willing to choose BEST's AC buses no matter how bad they are. It is quite common to see AC buses with standees on certain routes after fare was reduced earlier this year. Some routes are runaway success - feeders to BKC & SEEPZ from Bandra and Andheri stations respectively. AC buses run at 5-7 minute frequency on these routes yet are filled to capacity.
I used to travel by TMT Volvo from Thane to BKC and back, in the last 2-3 weeks of December. The bus in the evening return esp was full (well, nothing compared to Bangalore BMTC Volvo crowd which is totally jam-packed, but what I mean is no seats were vacant in the TMT Volvo). One day, I happened to miss the TMT bus. I waited for a while, and was watching quite a few BEST Kinglong buses to Thane travel totally empty, I mean 0 passengers.

Eventually I succumbed to the desire to travel sitting, and boarded the next BEST Kinglong that came along. The interior look and feel was horrible, and its pickup and drive was of course worse than Volvo's, though its (ie. the BEST Kinglong's) pickup seemed better than what I had seen about 7 years ago where I had seen it struggle to climb flyovers. But the good news is that I could travel sitting :-)

Surprisingly, the fare was the same as TMT Volvo's (or just Rs 5 less I think, on a Rs 85 fare), so definitely not worth the money!
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Old 14th March 2017, 14:02   #225
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Default Re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

BEST has started getting deliveries of its order of 303 buses from Tata. These are fully built Low floor/Semi low floor buses. The buses appear to have ventilation unit mounted on roof. They have some sort of automatic transmission, most likely to be an AMT unit. Waiting for them to hit the roads now.

Attaching a few pictures from Facebook & Whatsapp. All credits to original photographers.

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