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First batch of mini AC buses likely to hit Mumbai streets in July

An official privy to the development said the BEST plans to compete with the conventional and app-based cab aggregators

mumbai Updated: Feb 13, 2018 12:16 IST
Kailash Korde
Kailash Korde
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,BEST,AC buses
The BEST administration phased out its previous batch of more than 250 AC buses, as they were cumbersome and made no profit. (File photo )

Starting July, there is a possibility that Mumbaiites will be able to commute in air conditioned (AC) mini buses. Unlike the previous lot of AC buses, which were cumbersome and phased out eventually, the new vehicles will be able to move faster on the congested city roads. Transport experts have been suggesting the authorities to use smaller buses that can run faster.

On Monday, the policy making body of the Brihammumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking cleared a proposal to add 200 AC mini buses and 250 non-AC buses to its existing fleet. These buses will be hired on lease.

Read: BEST plans to get 450 smaller buses in Mumbai

An official privy to the development said the BEST plans to compete with the conventional and app-based cab aggregators, which have taken away a huge chunk of its passenger share, and may launch an app-based booking facility as well.

The BEST plans to rent these buses from two separate contractors, 100 each, who will be responsible for operating and maintaining the vehicles. The BEST will provide its conductor and parking space. Officials said the first batch is expected between July-August.

Read: Time for experts to govern BEST rather than politicians?

The BEST currently operates 3,310 buses and every day 28 lakh passengers travel on these buses. Before the undertaking phased out more than 250 AC buses, owing to losses it incurred, 20,000 people availed the services daily.

First Published: Feb 13, 2018 11:32 IST