Buses run by the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking will now ply on Mumbai’s iconic Bandra-Worli Sea Link (BWSL) and cut travel time between Churchgate and Dahisar to 40 minutes.
The BEST announced that the ‘Express Service’ would soon start covering the 40-km distance via the BWSL.
“We will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the toll operator [Mumbai Entry Point Limited] within two days, before starting services,” said BEST general manager, Uttam Khobragade.
“The BEST undertaking will pay Mumbai Entry Point Limited (MEPL) Rs 3,000 per bus, per month as toll tax. The fare for the new service will be finalised during the BEST committee meeting,” Khobragade added.
The service may, however, face hurdles after eight months. The MoU with MEPL will be valid only until July 2010.
“Our tenure ends in July and the MoU will be valid till that time,” said Jayant Mhaiskar, managing director, MEPL.
Renewal of this MoU would depend on the decision to renew MEPL’s contract, which would be taken by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC).
The Express Service could stop if the MSRDC does not renew MEPL’s contract and if BEST fails to strike a deal with the next contractor.
BEST presents Rs 77 cr surplus budget.
The BEST presented a Rs 77 crore surplus budget for 2010-2011 before the BEST committee on Wednesday.
The budget had not proposed a fare hike. Khobragade said, “Though the rates of diesel and other bus accessories have increased in the last three years, we managed to keep the same rate. We also managed to reduce losses of the transport division by 50 per cent in these 3 years.”
The number of commuters has gone up by 8 lakh from last year and the BEST’s fleet has also increased by 1,000 in a year. It is soon expected to go up to 5,000. The undertaking has also managed to reduce power theft rate by 3 per cent in a year.
Khobragade said the BEST is considering point-to-point services at exit points of the monorail and metro rail at Oshiwara, Sion and Deonar.