A Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) committee has approved the fare reduction proposal to revive the ailing public transport company. The proposal will now be sent to the standing committee of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for approval and will be implemented only after it gets approval from the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Transport Authority (MMRTA).
On Tuesday, members of the BEST committee unanimously approved the proposal to reduce the minimum fare from Rs 8 for 2 km to Rs 5 for 5 km, but not before some committee members demanded to know how this would affect the transport undertaking. Ravi Raja, committee member and opposition leader in the BMC, said that reduction of fares would cost BEST Rs 35 lakh per day.
The new fares range from Rs 5 to a maximum of Rs 20 for regular buses and from Rs 6 to Rs 25 for air-conditioned ones. Restructuring fares was part of the change suggested by the BMC in a bid to revive the loss-making service.
Dr Surendrakumar Bagde, general manager of BEST, said the process will take at least a month. Ten years ago, daily ridership in BEST buses was 42 lakh. Now it is between 25 lakh and 28 lakh every day.