MUMBAI: Inter-district bus services of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) resumed on Thursday morning after a gap of almost five months, officials said.
The Maharashtra government on Wednesday permitted the state-owned undertaking to re-start inter-district bus operations, which were stopped in March after the enforcement of lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19.
On Thursday, the first bus from Mumbai Central depot, where the MSRTC headquarters is located, left around 8.30 am for Chiplun in Ratnagiri district with six passengers boarding at the starting point, a transport corporation official said.
More passengers were expected at Dadar and other stops, he said.
Bus services from various depots in Mumbai and other parts of state are planned later in the day on some selected medium and long-distance routes, sources in the MSRTC said.
While allowing the inter-district MSRTC bus services to resume, the state government did away with the condition of e-pass, which was earlier compulsory for passengers in view of the lockdown.
The MSRTC said it will be mandatory for passengers to maintain COVID-19 prevention protocols, like wearing masks and adhering to the social distancing guidelines.
Earlier, the transport corporation resumed inter-district services from May 22 and also ran special buses to ferry migrants to the state borders.
It was also operating special services for passengers in the Konkan belt ahead of the Ganesh festival, which will begin on Saturday.
With a fleet of over 18,000 buses and nearly one lakh workforce, MSRTC is one of the biggest state road transport corporations in the county.