If you ever ask any Mumbaikar what is the one thing they would want to change in Mumbai, they would say the troublesom traffic. Mumbai traffic jams are world famous, and many compare it to the peak hour traffic in foreign countries. Many would also agree that the traffic system of Mumbai won’t change until and unless there is a complete overhaul of the Mumbai system, but until we get there, these are five decisions that have made Public Transport better in Mumbai.
#5 AC Buses
They started out few and far between, and in their short lifespan, they have courted dismantlement at least twice. The BEST is running the AC buses at a loss, and routes get closed down routinely, so if you haven’t experienced these yet, do try them. These buses are actually full air conditoned and quite comfortable. They are well maintained, and you can actually look forward to a comfortable, non sweaty ride if you ever decide to take them. Currently, these buses ply only long distances and station to station. They are a bit on the expensive side, but are still half the price you would pay to reach anywhere in a cab.
#4 Smaller Buses
We don’t know when this happened, but it was certainly a Godsend to many a people living in larger areas. With the rickshaw wallas refusing to ply, the authorities came up with small buses that would ply locally – which would even mean within the station. These buses fitted the requirement to a T. Not only could they be driven in a better manner through the internal roads, we are sure the maintenance of these buses must be cheaper too.
#3 Cool Cabs
Oh what a joy these cabs were when they first came out! They launched at a time when car acs were ridiculously expensive, and even people with car – even first time buyers – were not about to shell out the extra cash for the installation of a car ac, and of course, the huge bill. All that changed with the introduction of LPG and stuff, but when launched, cool cabs were the way to ride in the humid and dusty Mumbai.
#2 Return Journies
These are not actually the decisions of the civic authorities, but a tweak of the common people, and have been around ever since. Basically, if someone requires to travel to Churchgate from Malad, it is quite difficult for them to board the train at Malad Station. So, they decide to take a return journey, which means, board a train that is running from Malad to Borivli (2 stations) and stay in the same train as it hurtles towards Churchgate. Every Mumbaikar has done this atleast once in their lifetime
#1 Smart Cards
Smart Cards are really smart, and a boon to the weekend travelers. Basically, the trains are still the fastest mode of transport in the country today, and many a family faces the hassle of waiting in the long, smelly queue to buy tickets for long minutes. Truly, in some cases, waiting for these tickets would take away every joy of a small family picnic planned. All this changed with the introduction of the Smart Card. The Indian Railway tried solving the problem with coupons, but that never became very famous, because it was difficult to provide stamps and inkpads on every platform.
But they hit the jackpot with the Smart Card, a revolutionary ATVM machine that prints tickets on demand, without having the person wait in the queues. Yes, the day will come when everyone will have the Smart Card, but till then, we all can walk into the ticket counter like a Baws and print the our tickets.