BEST writes to Maharashtra transport dept, demands action against Ola’s AC bus service in Mumbai
Mumbai city news: Significantly, the BEST—which is going through its worst financial crisis — has stopped its own AC bus services due to poor response from the commuters.
The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) has objected to the air-conditioned bus service started by app based taxi aggregator Ola. The undertaking wrote a letter to the state transport department, and demanded action against the newly-launched shuttle bus service by Ola cabs on certain routes.
Significantly, the BEST—which is going through its worst financial crisis — has stopped its own AC bus services due to poor response from the commuters.
Ola cabs has launched a shuttle bus service, mainly connecting business districts in suburbs, from places like Thane, Powai, Andheri, Borivali and Navi Mumbai, among others, with mini buses. The app-based aggregator has launched this service after the BEST abruptly discontinued its AC bus services from April 17, 2017.
In the letter, the BEST has claimed that being a municipal transport body, it holds the monopoly of stage carriage service, in which passengers can be picked and dropped from multiple locations, in Mumbai. The century-old public transport body has also requested the transport authorities to take appropriate action against the bus service of the aggregator.
With a fleet of 266 air-conditioned buses, the BEST was ferrying around 20,000 passengers daily, when it abruptly discontinued the service. This left several commuters in the lurch, making them opt for other modes of transport. In fact, transport experts have been advising BEST to ply smaller buses with AC services, so that the drivers can ply them faster through Mumbai’s traffic. however, BEST did not pay heed to the advice.
Its buses were long and bulky, and used to take a lot of time to reach destinations due to traffic congestion. The private cab aggregators have identified a huge potential for such a service, and started their own, which now the BEST wants to shut down.
The BEST spokesperson confirmed that a letter written by the undertaking to the state, but refused to share any details about it. Ola cabs also did not solicit any response to the e-mail query on this issue.