CNG price effect: BEST considers bus fare hike | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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CNG price effect: BEST considers bus fare hike

mumbai Updated: Jun 19, 2010 01:15 IST
HT Correspondent

Two days after the taxi and autorickshaw unions demanded fare hike, the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) too is considering increasing bus fare.

“We will be forced to increase the bus fare because the hike in Compressed Natural Gas price will result in a loss of approximately Rs 40 crore. We will calculate the expected hike in fare that would affect an individual commuter,” said Om Prakash Gupta, BEST general manager.

At the forthcoming BEST committee meeting, the administration will seek permission from its members, comprising representatives from various political parties, to clear the proposal.

“It would severely burden us and affect services if we face losses,” said a BEST official, requesting anonymity.

The officials, however, refused to disclose the expected quantifiable ticket price in rupees after calculation.

In 2008, the BEST had reduced the minimum fare from Rs 4 to Rs 3, but increased the fare for every additional kilometre by 50 paise.

Initially, the BEST had said that they will bear the CNG price hike and would not increase the fare.

But after the Mahanagar Gas Ltd (MGL) increased the CNG price by Rs 6.42 on June 16, BEST had second thoughts.

MGL had last increased CNG price by 14 per cent in July 2009.

Both the taxi and autorickshaw unions have aggressively demanded a hike in their basic fares.

They have also threatened to go on strike if their demands are not met.

The state transport department has called for a joint meeting with both the unions on June 22 to study their demands and the hike in CNG price, before taking a decision.

The Mumbai Taximen's Union has demanded a hike in the minimum fare of black-and-yellow taxis from Rs 14 to Rs 16 and Rs 9 to Rs 11 for every additional km.

For Cool Cabs, the union has asked for a hike from Rs 17.50 to Rs 20 and Rs 11 to Rs 14 for every additional km.

The autorickshaw union has demanded an increase of Rs 6 from the existing minimum fare of Rs 9.