Buses are one of the most common means of transport amongst Mumbai locals. The majority of expats either have a car and a driver or else rely on taxis and rickshaws. Chances are you won’t use the bus service in Mumbai, but if you do, perhaps for a weekend touring the city, here is what you need to know:
BEST buses – the ubiquitous big, old, red buses – are the most popular buses in Mumbai and transport an estimated five million passengers daily. BEST buses are efficient, cheap, and reliable for short routes, but they are crowded. All buses have reserved seating for senior citizens, women, and the handicapped. Double-decker versions have more space available. Most BEST buses are not air-conditioned.
Buses are numbered according to their route, details of which are marked only in Hindi on each bus. You can purchase smart cards that can be topped up at station counters at one of the bus depots, or you can buy your ticket onboard from the conductor.
Etiquette demands that you board from the back and exit from the front. When you board in the back of the bus, a uniformed conductor will either check your ticket/pass or sell you a bus ticket. Most conductors carry a bag full of coins to give change, though exact change is helpful.
The bus is an inexpensive way to get around. A one-way ticket from Bandra Bus Station to Mount Mary (a 10 minute ride) costs just Rs 6 or $0.13.
Buses on most routes operate from 5:00 am until 11:30 pm or midnight. Routes 1, 65, 66 and 202 operate around the clock.
Buses cannot be waved down, and it is not possible to transfer from bus to bus using the same ticket.
Visit http://www.bestundertaking.com for bus routes and trip planning.