Mumbai: BEST fare hike gets MMRTA clearance

  • Kailash Korde, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jan 17, 2015 21:26 IST

The daily commute for the Mumbai’s 40 lakh Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) bus commuters just got costlier. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Transport Authority (MMRTA) approved a fare hike proposed for the bus service on Saturday. The hike will be effective from next month.

With this approval, the minimum fare for ordinary and limited buses will be Rs 7, instead of the existing Rs 6. For air-conditioned buses, the minimum will be Rs 25, instead of Rs 20.

The MMRTA, a quasi-judicial body chaired by transport secretary Gautam Chatterjee, approved a fare hike proposal submitted by BEST after a discussion, while it rejected a hike for the Virar-Vasai municipal transport buses. “The fare hike proposal of the BEST undertaking has been approved as it is,” said a source, who revealed the authority asked Virar-Vasai municipal transport officials to produce more details, while denying a hike.

This hike will range from Rs 1-10, depending on the distance travelled. The exact date for implementation is yet to be decided, RTO sources said. BEST, however, proposed to implement it from February 1 onwards.

The fare hike, for loss-making BEST, was unavoidable after its parent body, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), denied to give it a subsidy of Rs 150 crore on January 13, 2015.

The new fare hike will be effective for a period of two months because BEST has proposed another fare hike from April 1, in which it has proposed to hike the minimum fare of ordinary and limited buses to Rs 8 and Rs 30 for air-conditioned buses.

The budget of the transport wing of BEST for 2015-16 is Rs 2,800 crore and it faces a deficit of Rs 777 crore. The total BEST budget – for both the transport and supply wing – is Rs 7,100 crore.

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