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Old 28th December 2013, 12:11   #16
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Default re: Public Bus Torture - In Mumbai & Delhi

Quote:
Originally Posted by amolbh View Post
Nice writeup Tejas!

A few of the bad driving habits I noticed by the drivers:
[list=1][*]Not taking their foot off the gas while shifting - Gives horrible jerks.
[*]Depressing both gas and brakes!
Amol,

From whatever I have understood from the Bus conductor regarding the driver not releasing the Gas pedal during breaking and shifting gears was to maintain the air pressure in the braking system (something related to brake booster system I guess).

I still do travel a lot with BEST buses and had experienced the same issues as you mentioned. In one such instant there was ridiculously high stop-start traffic, the driver used to floor the gas pedal in neutral when the bus was stationery and in return creating loads of smoke. But then there was no other option with the driver since he was loosing a lot on braking power in that situation. This was the time when the conductor explained why the driver was doing that.

Just my 2cents.
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Old 28th December 2013, 16:57   #17
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Default re: Public Bus Torture - In Mumbai & Delhi

Here are my views about B.E.S.T. buses after using them for more than 20 years. There are always two sides of coin but here its a three. Let me elaborate and it may shed some light on the ongoing debate.

Views from passenger side:
  • Buses interconnect major routes and is a very good means of travel when the local trains are heavily crowded during peak hours. I always prefer buses to locals. Train station at Kurla and Dadar is almost a fish market during peak hours whereas buses are much less crowded in comparison.
  • If you are sitting in front half section of buses you did be comfortable but as soon as you move to back side of bus where rear differential is present you are in for a shock.
  • Rear suspension is completely broke(for all the bus maybe 2-3 specimen are still bearable) and gives lots of jolts. People at the rear half actually stand up from seats when the bus goes over a speed breaker.
  • You would never want to sit in the rear half of bus unless you want headache and pain through your spine for you later day be in while going to office or returning back.
  • As a customer of bus I expect the bus to be in top notch condition with working suspension and not a bus with a physically present suspension.
  • Buses used are getting too old and passengers need much more comfortable buses which doesn't seem to be happening.
  • AC buses from Certia breakdown as if they are designed to breakdown only. Volvo buses by N.M.M.T. are much better.
  • Bus drivers are always in a hurry, if there is just one person boarding bus from a stop they never stop the bus and expect the passenger to run and catch bus while its moving at a speed of 20 kmph.
  • Also while alighting bus, if you are the last one, expect to jump out of running bus as they start moving bus. Whats the hurry with these drivers!
  • Conductor never has change and expects passenger to have one and if not, you can alight bus immediately. So much attitude of conductor.
  • If you make noise about change, they would write behind the ticket to collect the remaining amount from a depot which would require extra time of yours which is already money in Mumbai.
  • I for always prefer a car over a bus or local. Peace of mind. To finish off passenger side story let me add two anecdote.
    • Once while returning home late by bus. I boarded a bus and after travelling a few meters; bus brakes failed. Thank goodness no one got hurt as bus was crawling in traffic. Somehow driver managed to drive till bus depot which was a 750 mts ahead. Guys over there somehow managed to fix brakes in about 20 mins and bus was off. But initially the driver was testing the brakes by suddenly stomping on them after achieving speed which too was quite an experience.
    • When diesel was cheaper at about Rs 45/lt, travelling by car was cheaper compared to bus in Mar'12. Still is if you car pool.

Moving onto Driver/Conductor side of story:
  • First of all hats off to them for driving such rickety buses; let me elaborate.
  • Driving age old buses with no actual safety(seat belts,air ventilation) makes one's day not so good.
  • Sitting beside an engine which makes your daily driving of bus a chore and sweating profusely if you are stuck in traffic.
  • All the mechanical parts are just about working and driving those rickety bus is in itself a daunting task which the bus drivers do daily.
  • Changing a gear in a bus is like wrestling with a metal rod and after making a successful shift, gear mechanism would make a load thud to shake whole bus. You can imagine the pain drivers goes through grinding these gears and more so in Mumbai traffic.
  • Due to these; I would say horrible condition of buses many drivers started giving medical application stating unworthy of driving bus, so as to get desk job which is much more comfortable than driving a rickety bus.

Now the third side of story, management:
  • First of all how is B.E.S.T. going in loss when they keep raising fares every six months. Can't they do simple maths to maintain there ledger without going in red?
  • Why don't they do proper maintenance of buses?
  • They use non-genuine spares which makes all these buses so much prone to breakdown. AC buses from Certia top the list.
  • All the management level people are paid handsomely and still cannot do a proper job of running the fleet.

I believe its the management to blame for such ill maintained and rickety buses. But still we use them because we Mumbaikars need to reach our destination no matter what happens to our health!
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Old 28th December 2013, 18:13   #18
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Apart from all the torture from BEST, I have had wonderful memories from school when I used to travel from my school in cuffe parade to VT where my dad had his office. I am talking about bus no. 138 which still runs a double decker bus service.

The marine drive views, flora fountain architecture, all seen from the upper deck and front seat used to allay all the tortures that we used to suffer! (Obviously i used to travel that route in off-peak hours)

Sorry to be so nostalgic here 😉
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Old 29th December 2013, 12:43   #19
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Default re: Public Bus Torture - In Mumbai & Delhi

All of us are stressed while driving in traffic, imagine the stress on a bus driver who drives 8 Hr's a day, whatever his shift 60% of the time is in heavy traffic.
The bus has a very large dia clutch the pressure plate spring tension is also very high, think of the effort it will take to press the clutch.
Among all STU's and city bus transport corporations BEST is near the top.

The issue is the government attitude, it dose not promote buses with automatic gears, low floors etc. As a fact hybrid technology will be most efficient with city buses. Give the drivers all this maintain it well and see how safe the buses will be.
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Old 30th December 2013, 14:03   #20
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Default re: Public Bus Torture - In Mumbai & Delhi

The worst part is that the BEST officials do not seem to have a very good solution to the recklessness of their driver.

See this article in the Times of India for some more colour and validation of some of the original points mentioned by Tejas.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/c...w/28122488.cms

My last car, a Santro, has been a victim of a Best driver turning with an abnormally large radius and changing lanes all together. The back of the bus just took out my front bumper!
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Old 30th December 2013, 15:12   #21
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Default re: Public Bus Torture - In Mumbai & Delhi

Hi Tejas,

A good collated bit of information there, but lets not take all the credit from B.E.S.T.

Agreed that their standards have gone down from the bye gone eras, but also look at the point that

1. They have one of the best public facing staff (viz Drivers & conductors).

Example for this :: Visit the Wadala depot and see for yourself how diligently the BEST staff runs a "lost and found" department which returns valuables left behind by commuters and submitted at the depot by conductors.

2. They drive each day in maddening traffic with overloaded vehicles.

Example for this :: Take a bus on Route number 498 on the Chandivali - borivali route during evening peak hours and see for yourself how the drivers manage to climb the slope at SEEPZ with atleast 80 people on board.

3. BEST buses run in our small overcrowded streets for long kilometers per day.

Example for this :: A conductor on C-60 route between Borivali & Deonar depot once told me that one C-60 bus runs twice between Borivali and Deonar that is 30 kilometers one way approx 120 kilometers per day OR take an example of AS2 running betwen Dahisar and SoBo that would more than 40 kms one way. now also imagine the wear and tear the clutch and all will have in our traffic.

4. Please visit Thane and Pune and travel by TMT or PMT buses and I assure you that you will run back to Bombay to our B.E.S.T

They need to do some serious thinking and come up with more means to earn revenue.

Things that can be done are ::

1. Leasing out premises at BEST depots
2. Provide better buses atleast good TATAs if not VOLVOs.
3. Get rid of the current AC buses at the earliest. They are just crap.

Regards
Diesel
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Old 30th December 2013, 17:08   #22
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Default re: Public Bus Torture - In Mumbai & Delhi

I am surprised! I have not visited Mumbai so far, but have been under the impression Mumbai literally had the best bus service in India.
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Old 2nd January 2014, 00:27   #23
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Default re: Public Bus Torture - In Mumbai & Delhi

I am a mumbaikar, who was in pune for last 2 years before shifting to Singapore
So I have got a taste of the BEST and the worst - PMPML of course.
If you compare with PMPML, this thread would not exist.

They have to do something to make the job of bus driver more comfortable, its getting more and more stressful for them to drive.

What happened to the BRT route which was planned along SION-THANE route?
Why cant a AC bus be run from VT to Vashi via the Eastern freeway?

I feel Nilambari the double deck open bus is not properly promoted. Just imagine riding one on sea link!

And the single most thing which still leaves me baffling is why on earth did they buy those crappy King Long's! and now they are going to reduce the AC bus routes since they are running out of AC buses.

Why cant BEST come up with its own boat service ( I am not sure but there was a BEST ferry service at some point in Mumbai in old times ), something like South to north connection can be done at least parallel to western railway.( Coastal regulations - is this a hurdle? )

Last edited by silverado : 2nd January 2014 at 00:38.
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Old 2nd January 2014, 09:07   #24
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Default re: Public Bus Torture - In Mumbai & Delhi

BEST is presently the 'worst' bus service in existence. Consider this
-Buses are not washed, not cleaned everyday. Exteriors are filthy, interiors full of old junk, ticket stubs, paper etc
-Buses are not maintained. Most are old, dented, no bus number boards, sometimes a black board with number in chalk is written
-Drivers are hired temp, permanent ones are not there. These temps are no better than the filthy dump truck drivers, in terms of both attitude and driving skills
-Conductors are like any govt babu, lazy, arrogant and brainless. Lesser said, the better
-Buses are non air-conditioned old junk rattletraps, which frankly should not get RTO permission to be on the roads
-The few a/c buses they have are cheap chinese ones, which break down after every 10kms, leaving passengers stranded.
-It is overcrowded, stuffy, sweaty and hot inside BEST buses. Women feel very unsafe with perverted louts hanging on every pole and every citizen who can afford to, will never travel by BEST ever.
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Old 2nd January 2014, 12:14   #25
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Default re: Public Bus Torture - In Mumbai & Delhi

Dear friend,
I used consider BEST as one of the better managed and maintained outfits. If they are bad then I can imagine the adjectives you would use for PMPML (former PMT) or the joke in Pune called municipal transport
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Old 2nd January 2014, 14:57   #26
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Default re: Public Bus Torture - In Mumbai & Delhi

+1 to ambivalent

cant even think of comparing PMPML with BEST. BEST is miles ahead even with their depleting stock of buses.
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Old 2nd January 2014, 15:00   #27
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Default re: Public Bus Torture - In Mumbai & Delhi

The majority of the points raised are true in case of any RTC in India (APSRTC, Blue Line....).

But would like to add the below points:

- Given the riding conditions (driver seat, no power steering & sitting right next to the boiling engine) coupling with bad roads, there is no end to the driver's plight.
- Public should also realise that trying to board a bus which is already overcrowded is dangerous, I mean there is not much a driver can do if people don't listen. And in such conditions the bus does not halt nor handle properly.
- With the corporations trying to make maximum number of runs in a day to make profits (or at least not to make losses), the buses are subjected to harsh conditions, thereafter causing engine parts to wear out earlier than expected.
- Also replacing spares with non genuine parts only damage the engine.

The government needs to realise that alternate modes of transport have to be developed. I have lived in Mumbai for 2 years & traveled through the local trains, BEST buses & the rickshaws. Heck, each and every mode is crowded & never free.

Hope the Metro brings some relief, which I am doubtful of.
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Old 2nd January 2014, 16:48   #28
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Default re: Public Bus Torture - In Mumbai & Delhi

Venkat,

I believe the Metro or Mono rail would not do much. I doubt the route planning that has been done with that.
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Old 2nd January 2014, 17:00   #29
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Red face re: Public Bus Torture - In Mumbai & Delhi

There is not one single day gone by for a TMT bus to get stranded and on the other hand I havent seen a BEST stranded on the Thane roads for many many days. Thats shows the integrity of the BEST buses. they are indeed the lifeline of Mumbai. In my ealry earning days I used to be a dedicated BEST users from Mulund to Saki Naka or Andheri. Few months back too I was using the BEST services since it was starting and ending at the place nearer where I live. Having said that BEST has a long way to go to be close to the international standards when it comes to improving commuter experience, their own staff sagging morals and providing fuel efficient buses.
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Old 2nd January 2014, 17:22   #30
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Default re: Public Bus Torture - In Mumbai & Delhi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Venkat_Figo View Post
- Given the riding conditions (driver seat, no power steering & sitting right next to the boiling engine)

- Public should also realise that trying to board a bus which is already overcrowded is dangerous, I mean there is not much a driver can do if people don't listen. And in such conditions the bus does not halt nor handle properly.


Hope the Metro brings some relief, which I am doubtful of.
All the buses come equipped with power steering. Public do not think much about buses and dangers related to overcrowded bus, and you cant blame them about it.

Metro surely will be a relief at least for people who ride on route 340, and majority of local travellers who travel to dadar to switch lines.

OT : As far as PMPML is concerned, it is by far the worst in the entire country, there was a survey which proved it.
I am sure a thread on PMPML bus torture would run in to many more pages than this one.

Last edited by silverado : 2nd January 2014 at 17:25.
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