Despite the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) going through its worst-ever financial crisis, travelling by air-conditioned (AC) BEST buses will be 50% cheaper starting today.
Once the BEST’s revised fares come into existence, commuters will pay Rs 15 instead of Rs 30 for a distance of 2km for an AC bus ride. For a distance of 10km, the fare will be Rs 35 instead of Rs 65.
Besides reducing AC bus fares, BEST revised its fare structure, introducing three new intermediate fare slabs at 8km, 12km and 17 km, and new stages at every 5km beyond 20 km. The fares are applicable for both AC and non-AC buses.
BEST has revised the fares of its monthly and quarterly pass rates, offering discounts to commuters.
Commuters will get a monthly pass having paid for only 22
days. Similarly, they can get a quarterly pass having paid for only 66 days. BEST will introduce a Happy Hour fare scheme during its non-peak hours from 11am to 5pm. Commuters will get a 50% discount on their daily bus pass fare.
According to BEST officials, they received the nod from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Transport Authority (MMRTA) — chaired by the transport secretary of the state — to implement these fare rationalisations a day ago.
A senior BEST official said the BEST committee — the BEST’s policy-making body — had cleared the fare rationalisation at the beginning of May. However, it could not be discussed in the MMRTA’s last meeting held on May 31, as it failed to get the BMC’s general body’s approval.
The BEST administration said the introduction of new slabs will reduce their daily earnings by 4.61 lakh. To recover it, they will have to increase the daily number of passengers by 22,335. A reduction in the AC bus fare will lead to a daily loss of 1.60 lakh. To recover this, they will have to carry 2,400 additional passengers daily.