About 50 buses will hit the roads in the first week of July on new or realigned routes to ease people’s commuting woes. The routes have been designed after mapping of real-time passenger demand. West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC), the state transport undertaking (STU) which takes care of transportation issues in greater Kolkata in terms of bus, trams and ferry services in the Hooghly, is reviving some circular routes, first of which will be kicked off on July 1.
The services include night service between Garia and Barasat — two extreme points of the sprawling metropolis along its eastern periphery. This will be the longest route for night-time bus services. The service will run along the north-south corridor of E M Bypass, VIP Road and Jessore Road. Since much of the commercial and trading activities have shifted to the east, this corridor has been generating a lot of passenger demand till early in the morning, said a WBTC official.
A new route — M7B — has been created to cater to Howrah station-bound passengers and those travelling back. It will also touch upon some major Metro stations of south and central Kolkata. The bus will start from Shibrampur on the south-western fringes of the city.
AC 16, the service of which was withdrawn following a tepid response from the commuters, is being reintroduced along realigned routes. “The realignment of routes will now be a continuous process. There is no point in wasting resources by running buses where demand is ,” said a senior WBTC officer.
AC 16, henceforth, will run between Barisha’s Janakalyan and Tollygunge. There has been a tremendous passenger demand on this route, with the majority of them availing Metro. WBTC will run only electric buses on this route.
Similarly, route S37 is being realigned from July 1. S37A, which used to ply between Garia and Airport, will now encompass greater length and thus serve greater passengers’ demand. The bus will originate from Garia depot and travel to Barasat and back via Hudco, Airport and Madhyamgram.
The biggest experiment will be the revival of circular routes, which were in vogue during the 90s. First of the circular route is between two busiest terminal stations — Howrah and Sealdah — touching upon two crucial Metro stations as well. The routes are designed to cater to a huge number of short-distance passengers. This route will have high number of buses to ensure a frequency of 10 minutes during peak hours and 20 minutes in non-peak hours, said an official.
Source: Times of India