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Monday, Aug 19, 2019

Mumbai BEST’s ticket revenue down by ₹117 crore in 2017-18

Its expenses also dipped by Rs165 crore in the last financial year.

mumbai Updated: Jun 29, 2018 14:13 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
BEST is the second largest mode of mass transport in  Mumbai and ferries 28-29 lakh commuters every day.
BEST is the second largest mode of mass transport in Mumbai and ferries 28-29 lakh commuters every day.(HT File Photo)

The loss-making Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking’s ticketing revenue has gone down by Rs 117 crore in 2017-18, general manager of BEST Surendra Kumar Bagde informed the BEST panel during a discussion on integrated ticketing system project on Thursday.

Bagde added that the daily average distance travelled by the buses has also reduced to 170 kilometres per day from the earlier 180 km per day, which has adversely impacted the punctuality and service of the BEST buses.

In addition to this, BEST’s cost also dropped down by Rs165 crore, during the last financial year.

“The ticket sale revenue has come down by Rs117 crore and our cost has also gone down by Rs165 crore. The number of passengers and buses plying on roads have also reduced, along with the average distance travelled by the buses,” said Bagde, while responding to the panel member’s concern about the drop in BEST revenue due to defective ticketing machines.

There are several other factors responsible for the drop in ticketing revenue, the drop in daily average running kilometers of the buses being one of them, he said.

The congestion on the roads caused by metro work is one of the reasons for the reduced bus speeds and the disruption of bus schedules, he said.

Of the BEST’s total annual income of Rs4,943 crore, Rs1,359 crore comes from the transport wing while the department’s power wing accounts for the remaining amount.

BEST is the second largest mode of mass transport from Mumbai that ferries around 28-29 lakh commuters every day, following suburban trains that carry 75-80 lakh passengers every day. Currently, the undertaking is going through the worst ever financial situation since the start of 2017.

During the meeting, BEST administration and the general manager received flak from members of the panel for approving the integrated ticketing system of Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) without the panel members’ consent. Moreover, they were also slammed for ignoring their concerns about existing ticketing system.

“The hasty decisions have spoiled the current situation of the BEST,” said Sunil Ganacharya, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member on BEST panel.

Ravi Raja, another senior member of BEST panel and opposition leader in BEST, claimed that currently only 2,900 of the 3,300 buses in BEST fleet are operational and the number of the commuters dropped down to 22 lakh. “Only BEST administration and general manager is responsible for the ticketing revenue loss,” said Raja.

First Published: Jun 29, 2018 12:00 IST

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