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Old 26th July 2012, 12:50   #16
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Hi Guys,

I have dealt with BEST as part of my professional career in the past, with regards to the supply of biodiesel of use in their bus routes in south mumbai.

Based upon my experience with them and other services in Pune, Nashik, MP Transport and KSRTC, I do believe that BEST is simply ages ahead of the other government bodies. The materials handling, driver training and maintenance is something of a case study for other government transportation units in India.

When I was dealing with them, I was told that TMT and NMT buses are serviced and maintained by BEST engineers and that itself goes on to say a lot about their professional service quality. Infact, as compared to NMT and TMC, BEST was in a far better financial condition.

Do note that since the unions and indirectly, the management at BEST, are politically linked, hence all major decisions are taken keeping in mind these sensibilities. Therefore we will continue to see "Experiments" by chinese, taiwanese and other companies imitating Volvo and eventually being given a contract for certain routes.

Request to go slightly , I do believe that Kinglong buses were maintained by Kinglong until 2009. The deterioration in their reliability may be because of rushed exit of these engineers or lack of continued support.


R

Quote:
Originally Posted by advaitlele View Post
Do we still have double deckers in Mumbai? I have never seen them whenever I have visited Mumbai in last couple of years.

They are very much there, however given their respective engine life, the routed are restricted to plain roads, without too many inclines to increase longevity of their poor old engines.

r

Last edited by Jaggu : 26th July 2012 at 13:14. Reason: Back to back posts, please use Multi Quote (Quote +) instead. Thanks
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Old 27th July 2012, 11:06   #17
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Default re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

BEST is by far the best city transport system in the nation. In other metros like Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata , IMO apart from the labour class, hardly anyone boards them, except of AC buses.



Lets talk about recent innovations by BEST which show they have their thinking cap on -


1) Information on the approaching bus top by a voice recorder similar to trains inside most buses. (Does anyone have any idea how it works? Some info on it will be nice)

2) Smart ticket printers with conductors, saving ticketing time.

3) Online Pass Registration and Renewal, no need to queue up in depots.

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Old 27th July 2012, 20:19   #18
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Default re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

Quote:
Originally Posted by amtak View Post
Kinglong is the biggest wrong decision taken by BEST. When Delhi and other states can have VOLVO's why can't they? why do they need trial runs? Navi Mumbai has them, Pune has them, BLR has them; why do they need to try them? A lot of people have stopped travelling in AC buses because the fares have gone up but the service level hasn't. The buses are clean to a certain extent; however they have some issues:
  • Kinglong's are slow and engine noise is on the higher side.
  • Not as spacious as a Volvo on the inside
  • Rattling windows; doors not opening properly or damaged properly
  • AC either not working properly or like a fridge
  • King long seats are more comfortable than Volvos
Now to list the possible reasons for BEST choosing KL buses:
* The King Long company offered more bribes than Volvo
* King Long buses require more maintenance - which means more bribes from the service/spares suppliers
* King Long buses probably
I guess that's it! I just can't think of any other reason...

BTW, even Mysore has Volvos in their city fleet!

On the other hand, I have been a very vocal supporter of the BEST service, defending its honour against other cities! Even though Bangalore's BMTC has more & better Volvos, it can no ways beat the superior connectivity of BEST!
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Old 27th July 2012, 21:56   #19
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Default re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TaurusAl View Post
Lets talk about recent innovations by BEST which show they have their thinking cap on -
I don't think they have their thinking caps on at the moment. Please go to their website, try searching for timings of first bus and last bus of any route, and revert back whether you found the data where you expected to find it. This is just one example, there are many things that they are doing wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TaurusAl View Post
1) Information on the approaching bus top by a voice recorder similar to trains inside most buses. (Does anyone have any idea how it works? Some info on it will be nice)
Introduced only in a few buses, not even 500. They should concentrate on improving the maintenance of problematic depots first. I would rather prefer buses that do not threaten to tear my clothes at every opportunity & buses in which I can step anywhere safely without the fear of the floor giving way to buses that announce the next stop. Travel by any of the recent Tata CNG buses (MH 01 LA 6xxx) to know what I mean. The announcements work through GPS AFAIK.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TaurusAl View Post
2) Smart ticket printers with conductors, saving ticketing time.
Again improper implementation. Conductors allege large scale corruption in procurement of machines. They tend to fail frequently. For feeder routes they actually end up taking more time. In the old system the conductor would simply pull out a bunch of tickets and punch them at one go. Here e has to operate the machine for every ticket. Nevertheless I do agree that electronic ticketing is essential.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TaurusAl View Post
3) Online Pass Registration and Renewal, no need to queue up in depots.
Online pass renewal is a big joke. Tried it for the first time this week. One has to get the pass updated through bus conductor within three days of renewal or visit the depot thereafter. And here is the catch. Renewal through conductors is not possible more often than not because
1. The bus is too crowded OR
2. The machine does not work OR
3. The conductor does not want to do the work OR
4. The conductor does not know that something like this even exists.
I tried renewing through conductors. Now the stipulated time is over and I will have to visit the depot tomorrow to update the card. To eliminate Point #1, I waited for upto 30 minutes to get an empty bus during these days. This is my first and perhaps last attempt at online renewal. And my case is not a one off case.
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Old 29th July 2012, 09:01   #20
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Default re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AkMar View Post

Introduced only in a few buses, not even 500.
Absolutely right Mr Marathe.

At the moment, the mechanism is being tested inside 101 buses running on seven different routes in central Mumbai. The Wadala depot is trying out this announcement system

Some of the bus route numbers where this announcement system has been installed are 502 Ltd, 504 Ltd, C-52, AS-440, AS-503, 168 and 69

As of 2011, BEST runs a total of 4,680 buses, ferrying 4.8 million passengers over 365 routes, and has a workforce strength of 38,000, which includes 22,000 bus drivers and conductors

Source - BEST's sound idea to help you reach bus stop
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Old 29th July 2012, 14:53   #21
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Default re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

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Originally Posted by silverado View Post
I remember travelling to vashi in a double decker and the best view was when it would cross the vashi bridge.

I was born in 1980 so have missed those times.
.
which year was this when double deckers would run on Vashi bridge ?
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Old 29th July 2012, 15:28   #22
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Default re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

Quote:
Originally Posted by silverado View Post
Some of the bus route numbers where this announcement system has been installed are 502 Ltd, 504 Ltd, C-52, AS-440, AS-503, 168 and 69
I traveled by C-61, Mulund to Mira Road. Some of the buses (encountered twice till date) have this system. Someone told me that it runs according to the distance traveled and not GPS. I myself have doubts on this part.
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Old 30th July 2012, 17:41   #23
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Default re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

BEST Bus are pethetic now a days in quality as well as service . I never find such arrogant conductors like those in BEST buses .Recently they have hiked the fares almost 40% .Recently I travelled from Vashi to Mulund in BEST Non Ac for Rs 26 . The fare in NMMT Volvo on return was only 32 .
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Old 30th July 2012, 17:56   #24
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Default re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

Quote:
Originally Posted by silverado View Post
I remember travelling to vashi in a double decker and the best view was when it would cross the vashi bridge.

I was born in 1980 so have missed those times.
I hope someday we have a double decker running on sealink.

And just like Premier Padmini , a BEST double decker is a Heritage symbol of Mumbai city.
I don't think BEST introduced double decker buses for Navi Mumbai. The services started sometime in 1992-1993 with Route 5XX Series. All of them were single decker Ashok Leyland buses.
The first set of routes were 501-505.

Cheers
MKP
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Old 30th July 2012, 18:34   #25
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Default re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

Nowadays BEST ticket prices are more than the share auto prices in most areas where people want to goto the station and the distance being around 1.5 kms. For e.g. if i take a bus from my place to goregaon station, it costs me 10 bucks but a rickshaw costs me 15 and if shared comes to 6 bucks per person. I think BEST have increased prices to cover up their losses.

Otherwise i feel no one covers Mumbai or any other city like BEST. They are the best.

and i do miss those double decker buses. When i was a kid, my uncle, after dinner used to take me and my cousin for a night drive on the Route 262 - Goregaon Station - Chincholi Bunder. We used to sit in the front seat on the upper deck and enjoy the breeze. I no longer see these double deckers now. Very rare.
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Old 31st July 2012, 22:05   #26
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Default re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

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Originally Posted by mkpiyengar View Post
I don't think BEST introduced double decker buses for Navi Mumbai.
I will surely check when Double decker buses used to ply ,but i do remember travelling on same crossing vashi bridge.I could be wrong here, but lets find out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by masai View Post
which year was this when double deckers would run on Vashi bridge ?
To be very frank i do not remember this, Akmar can check and answer this i guess.

Last edited by silverado : 31st July 2012 at 22:06.
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Old 1st August 2012, 12:19   #27
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Default re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

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Originally Posted by TaurusAl View Post


1) Information on the approaching bus top by a voice recorder similar to trains inside most buses. (Does anyone have any idea how it works? Some info on it will be nice)

Believe it or not, it works on simple radio and rfid circuit. Also, next time you are on the bus, do check for cameras near the driver and at the rear. Apparently they transmit their feed live to a central database.

R
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Old 1st August 2012, 14:45   #28
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Default re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

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Originally Posted by riteshest View Post
Believe it or not, it works on simple radio and rfid circuit. Also, next time you are on the bus, do check for cameras near the driver and at the rear. Apparently they transmit their feed live to a central database.

R
Thanks for the info buddy. I was in the impression that the camera feed is stored somewhere in the bus in a hard disk and then later transferred in their server at the depots. Hence I used to believe that those cams are almost useless as the come into act after the vehicle reaches the depot!
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Old 4th August 2012, 22:52   #29
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Default re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

Quote:
Originally Posted by silverado View Post
To be very frank i do not remember this, Akmar can check and answer this i guess.
My knowledge about BEST buses is only from the latter half of 2000s decade. Will check with my friends though

Quote:
Originally Posted by riteshest View Post
Apparently they transmit their feed live to a central database.
If true, this is good.

Here is another development:

Quote:
MUMBAI: BEST commuters will soon get mobile and internet updates about the scheduled time of arrival of an air-conditioned bus at a particular stop.

The service will be inaugurated on August 7, observed as BEST Day. In the first phase, the BEST has installed GPRS system on around 260 AC buses and that will help in tracking the movement of the vehicles in real time. Chairman of BEST committee Ashok Patil said, "In the second phase, all non-AC buses will be covered and that will be done by the end of March 2013."

Under the system, a commuter seeking information on a bus's scheduled arrival time will have to type out BEST, followed by the five-digit code of a particular bus stop, and send the massage to 56060. Immediately, the passenger will get a message on his mobile, informing him about the expected timings of all the buses next slated to arrive at the stop.
Source

It seems they have already started painting the stop codes on major stops. The link for online tracking too has been added on their main website, but it asks for login as of now.

Lastly, a few pics clicked today:
Attached Thumbnails
B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!-dsc011141.jpg  

B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!-img_96461.jpg  

B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!-img_96481.jpg  

B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!-dsc011081.jpg  

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Old 4th August 2012, 23:13   #30
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Default re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

What happened to the Nilambari OPEN DECK bus which used to ferry tourists around Fort area?

I dont like the current Double decker front.
IMO the older design gave the driver better judgement and visibily on sides and gave a superb look to the bus.

I will post pics of paper bus model which i bought from BEST scale model show which i visited when i was in mumbai.

I am myself contemplating to create a cardboard BEST bus model since i have the details with me now, lets hope i find good enough time to do it.
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