The Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd is the highest bidder for advertising rights on the air-conditioned buses of the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST).
Reliance has offered five times more than the old contract amount of Rs 15,000 per bus.
Two months ago, the Tardeo Regional Transport Office had asked BEST to pull the advertisements off 271 King Long buses because the seamless stickers obstructed visibility for travellers and posed a safety-threat.
But the transport authority later allowed the public undertaking to take up the project with the caveat that it would have to ensure 50% visibility as against the earlier 27%.
Advertisers will now have to personally get the bus inspected from the RTOs once advertisements are installed. This will take another six months.
The removal of the advertisements caused a revenue loss of Rs40 lakh to the public undertaking. The current contract to be signed by Reliance is of Rs 78.9 crore, for three years and the firm will pay Rs 2.19 crore which comes to around Rs 80,000 per bus.
“The tinted window glasses would become lighter. We have introduced the necessary changes in the new tender called for wrapping King Long buses,” said OP Gupta, general manager, BEST.
A committee member and Congress leader Ravi Raja welcomed the bid. “ It is very beneficial to the BEST and it will boost income to Rs 80,000 per bus. We will use this money to provide better services to commuters.”