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Dedicated bus lanes in Mumbai: BEST’s way to attract commuters

Significantly, under the HT Unclog Mumbai campaign, transport experts had also suggested that the BEST should start more and more dedicated bus lane routes that will prompt more Mumbaiites to use the public transport which will also reduce congestion on Mumbai’s roads.

mumbai Updated: Nov 25, 2016 00:36 IST
Prajakta Kunal Rane
After consistently losing out passengers for the past few years, BEST is looking at ways to improve the situation for revenue growth in 2017-18.
After consistently losing out passengers for the past few years, BEST is looking at ways to improve the situation for revenue growth in 2017-18.(HT File Photo)

Cash-strapped Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) is exploring the option of dedicated bus lanes to increase its passengers and thus revenue.

After consistently losing out passengers for the past few years, BEST is looking at ways to improve the situation for revenue growth in 2017-18. In the proposed BEST budget, which was presented on Thursday, the administration said it aims at generating revenue of Rs1,630 crore from transport department which is Rs1,469 crore in the current financial year.

Significantly, under the HT Unclog Mumbai campaign, transport experts had also suggested that the BEST should start more and more dedicated bus lane routes that will prompt more Mumbaiites to use the public transport which will also reduce congestion on Mumbai’s roads. The system results in buses taking less time to reach their destination and making way for more buses while promoting the public transport.

The administration proposed such lanes on DN Marg in Andheri, Annie Besant Road in Worli, Western and Eastern Expressway, Jogeswari-Vikhroli Link Road and Oshiwara to Mitha Nagar.

“We are aiming at increasing our transport revenue by working on several parameters including improving the daily average km from 190km to 200kms, passenger load and reducing bus failures. Our aim is to take the daily passenger from 33lakh to 35lakh to meet our revised revenue,” said Jagdish Patil, general manager BEST.

The BEST’s transport wing has projected loss of Rs1,026 crore in 2017-18, of which Rs460.79 crore will be cross-subsidised by the profit earned in power supply division. However, the overall loss of BEST will be Rs565 crore.

“Growth in passengers is not possible only by making operational changes. We need to introduce innovative ideas like Wi-Fi and charging facility in AC buses, mobilizing the buses faster by introducing smaller buses,” said Kedar Hombalkar, BEST Committee member.

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