The bus fare hike imposed by the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking from Wednesday has made the minimum fare for buses in Mumbai the highest minimum bus fare among all metros.
Commuters can buy two single-journey ordinary bus tickets in Chennai with less than the minimum fare for an ordinary BEST bus ride in Mumbai. The Chennai Metropolitan Transport Corporation (CMTC) charges Rs 3 as minimum ordinary bus fare, as does the Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Corporation (AMTC).
With BEST imposing its second fare hike this year, the minimum fare of ordinary BEST buses became Rs 8. A commuter can make three single journeys on an AC bus run by the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC), by forking out the minimum fare for an AC BEST bus ride in Mumbai. While the minimum fare for a DTC AC bus ride is Rs10, that for an AC BEST bus ride is Rs 30.
After its second fare hike this year, the minimum fare for BEST’s ordinary and AC buses are Rs 2-5 more and Rs 15-20 more than that for ordinary and AC buses in other metros. Minimum fare for ordinary buses run by the DTC and the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is Rs5, while that for ordinary buses run by the Calcutta State Transport Corporation (CSTC) is Rs 6. For AC bus journeys, DTC charges minimum fare of Rs 10, while CMTC and BMTC charge Rs15 for the same.
While passengers pay Rs10 to travel a distance of 4 kilometres on an AC DTC bus, Mumbaikars are paying Rs35 to travel the same distance.
“In Mumbai, people are ready to pay for good quality of service, but no one is looking to see how BEST can run efficiently. Commuters end up paying for the inefficiency of the operator,” said Rishi Aggarwal, a transport activist. BEST officials defended the fares, saying in other metros, the state governments provide transport corporations with financial support in the form of subsidies, which they are denied.