For almost 40 years, migrants from Mangalore and other neighbouring places, who had migrated to Bombay for work were dependant on bus services for travel between the two places. Konkan railway came much, much later. The earlier railway route would mean changing trains at Poona, Miraj and Kadur and then travelling long distance in rickety buses. And ships would take three days to cover the journey.
So when Canara Pinto started the Mangalore-Bombay bus service in 1952 it quickly proved to be popular. Though the road journey would take 24 hours. And other operators including Ballal, CPC and Ghatge Patil also came in. Today of course there are plenty of trains between Mumbai and Mangalore, excellent bus services by KSRTC and even private operators and good reasonably priced flights. But it’s always a pleasure to see a Canara Pinto bus these days, as I came across this one on the expressway today.