According to figures provided by the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMMPL), out of a total of 9,460 bus stops, only 1,250 have hangars. “These include BRTS bus stops. Stops covered with blankets are called bus shelters,” a PMPML official said.
“At many bus stops there is only a yellow post with bus numbers and routes, and many stops have nothing at all,” he added.
Vilas Undre, who travels regularly by bus, said it was difficult to wait for the bus in the scorching heat. “Temperatures are soaring, and often I had to wait a long time for a bus under the scorching sun. Even now the waiting time for the buses is around 25-45 minutes or even longer. I get dehydrated many times from the heat,” he said.
Another commuter, catching a bus from an open bus stop in Fatimanagar, said, “Why does the PMPML have to ignore the basics and talk about ambitious plans? I heard that they are going to provide Internet services via Wi-Fi in all buses and launch an electric taxi service. All commuters want are good quality buses on time and proper bus shelters,” he said.
Earlier this year, the PMPML decided to offer 1,500 bus shelters within the civic boundaries of Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad and neighboring rural areas on the BoT (build-operate-transfer) model to generate revenue. An official said the plan fell flat.
“We had put out a tender for the same, but there was no response. Now we will make some changes to the terms and conditions and put out a tender again. We hope that the people will be interested this time,” the official said.
Activists have also criticized the city’s public transportation service. “Many bus shelters are in poor condition. The transport body should push for better shelters. In some areas, local leaders and business owners have created shelters with their own funds. There are shelters, like the ones near Sarasbaug, where the buses don’t stop, and they’re there just as an income-generating mechanism. You can’t make people suffer like that,” PMP Pravasi Manch activist Sanjay Shitole told TOI.