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BEST makes a profit on only 2 of its 505 routes

The 4,200 buses of Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) travel on the biggest of highways to the smallest of bylanes of Mumbai city and suburbs. Sadly, even though the buses carry close to 40 lakh passengers, less than 1 per cent of the total routes earn profits for the undertaking.


Route 169, from Sion to Worli, is one of the two profitable routes. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

According to latest figures released as a part of their internal studies, the BEST is making profits only on two of the total 505 routes it operates. “Public transport normally is not supposed to make profits,” claimed a BEST official.


Only two of the 505 routes operated by BEST make profits. File pic

As per the report, at least 316 routes make losses, where the BEST is unable to cover both fixed and variable costs, 187 routes break-even by slightly managing their expenditure. Only two routes manage to be in the black these two are bus route number 169 (Prateeksha Nagar to Worli Village) and bus route number 415 (Agarkar Chowk, Andheri East to Majas Depot, Jogeshwari east).


BEST makes a profit on Route no 169 and Route no 415. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

The study was a part of BEST’s overall rationalisation process, in which loss-making routes will be curtailed and the number of buses will be reduced. Senior officials even the General Manager of BEST have stated that this was essential for ensuring reduction of losses and optimum utilisation of the fleet.

From October to November, 10 loss-making routes have been scrapped. Presently the BEST Transport incurs losses to the tune of Rs 633.5 crore every year, while the Supply division earns profits of Rs 125.42 crore every year. Thus, the total annual losses incurred by the undertaking is about Rs 508 crore.

“The loss-making section that is marked as ‘C-class route’ is the maximum. These are mainly the short routes wherein the buses go from the railway stations to housing societies nearby. The longer routes help in recovering the costs,” said Sunil Ganacharya, BEST Committee member.

Normally, BEST buses are expected to run at least 192 kms in a day. But due to severe road traffic, congestion, traffic snarls and a slew of other issues, these buses manage to cover only 150 kms every day. Apart from this, the manpower cost, fuel expenses and other expenditures result in severe losses for the BEST.

Rs 634 cr
Annual loss incurred by the transport division of BEST

Rs 508 cr
Annual loss incurred by the BEST

316
No of routes on which BEST makes losses

The two profitable routes

Route 169
Prateeksha Nagar to Worli Village

Route 415
Agarkar Chowk, Andheri (E) to Majas Depot, Jogeshwari (E)

Rs 634 crore
Annual loss incurred by the transport division of BEST

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