Friday, October 8, 2010

Volvos BEST option to phase out King Longs?

Mumbai:If the Shiv Sena-controlled BEST committee has its way, King Long buses may be sidelined and will be replaced with AC Volvo buses on longdistance routes. But BEST general manager Om Prakash Gupta rubbished the plan to either ground these buses or replace them.

Fifty new Volvos were expected to join the BEST fleet this month and another 200 might in a few months, said an official of the BEST committee. Its chairperson Sanjay Potnis told TOI that they planned to replace the King Longs with Volvos as they were more “efficient with better speed as well as safety features and break down less frequently”. “I am not satisfied with the performance of our King Longs that ply on the north-south corridors. Unable to bear the load on flyovers, they cannot maintain good speed,” Potnis said. He, however, added that BEST owned 270 King Longs and they could not be discarded. “We may ply them on cross-corridors and other routes, while Volvos can operate on the north-south fast-track routes,” he said. The cross-corridors are the east-west links like Sion-Mahim and Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Road.

A BEST committee member from the Congress, however, is not keen on the “phasingout” plan of King Longs. “The transport body has already spent a lot on King Longs. I don’t think there is any problem with these luxury buses that are popular on the fasttrack routes.” he claimed. But GM Gupta said new Volvos would be deployed on fasttrack corridors soon. “We are also taking in Mercedes Benz buses for long-distance routes,” he added.

LUXURY FLEET

KING LONGS

270 buses

AC VOLVOS

50 buses ( 200 more to be bought soon)

MERCEDES BENZ

1 bus (on 30 -day trial basis, more to be procured)

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