Mumbai has been one of the worst-hit cities across India since the Covid-19 pandemic struck. With over 48,000 positive cases in the city alone, Mumbai has contributed significantly to Maharashtra's overall tally. With restrictions being eased across the country, Mumbai too is gearing up to somehow play the balancing act between allowing movement of people for essential purposes and ensuring safety.
The Maharashtra government recently announced that restrictions on the number of passengers inside public transport vehicles would be strictly enforced to ensure social distancing norms are maintained. As such, cabs can only ferry two passengers at a time for essential services' purpose. Similarly, BEST buses in Mumbai will only allow 30 passengers inside at any one point in time and with not more than five passengers standing. BEST forms the core of Mumbai's public transit network, after local trains, and helps 30 lakh commuters reach their destinations each day. A BEST bus has a capacity of 54 passengers but will currently not operate with full load. “30 people will be allowed to commute in one bus. A proportionate number of people will be allowed to commute in double deckers and mini buses. The buses will be operational throughout the city," said Manoj Varade, BEST spokesperson.
(Also read: Delhi now has no restrictions on number of passengers in vehicles)
Auto rickshaw drivers had been instructed to permit only two passengers, responsible for essential services, at a time. In a city of well over 2 lakh autos, many drivers are now placing sheets to divide the compartments.
Private vehicles are allowed free movement in areas that fall under Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). Taxis and autos, however, will continue to ply only for essential services.
Suburban trains will remain shut and there is no confirmation on when these would resume operations.