If the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking takes some tough decisions in the coming months, share-autos and cabs will have tough competition.
On Monday, the Undertaking’s newly-constituted committee heard a proposal to cut the minimum fare by Re 1. The current minimum fare (for a distance of 3 km) is Rs 4. The proposal charts out a minimum fare of Rs 3 for a reduced distance of 2 km.
The Undertaking estimates that about 45 lakh commuters will benefit from the reduced fare. However, the BEST will add an annual loss of Rs 37 crore to its exchequer if it approves this cut.
“We have plans to rationalise the fares. We have to discuss it (the proposal) after which it will be cleared,” BEST chairman Sanjay Potnis said.
The other proposals include hiking fares for longer distances, an additional charge on express and all-night fares and a hike in season tickets. The response of passengers to all-night bus operations is not very encouraging. But the cost of running the services is the same because of which it has been proposed to charge an additional 50 per cent of the ordinary service fares in all express and all-night fares, according to the proposal document.
A senior BEST official said: “The proposal will come up for discussion at the BEST meeting later this month after. A final decision will be taken only after the civic body’s (BEST’s parent body) approval.