BEST shoots down MMRDA's plan to operate electric buses

The ambitious plan of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to run electric bus service from Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) to Kurla, BKC to Bandra (E) and BKC to Sion will never see the light of the day.

Caught in the middle: Due to the poor bus frequency to the area during peak hours, auto drivers fleece the commuters and overcharge. Representation pic

Officials of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) administration informed the development body that they cannot provide or run electric buses, as the administration lacks the infrastructure to maintain such buses.

Commenting on the issue, MMRDA Commissioner UPS Madan said, “We wanted to run electric buses on these routes and the same was conveyed to the BEST administration. But in their reply, BEST officials suggested that it wouldn’t be feasible for them to run electric buses as they lacked maintenance provisions for such vehicles. We will now have special, medium-sized buses that will be environment-friendly.”

The MMRDA-BEST authorities decided to start the bus service after office-goers working in the BKC complained of poor bus frequency to the area and the haughty auto drivers aggravated their commuting woes. Commuters said taking advantage of the peak hours and poor bus frequency, auto drivers charge Rs 15 per seat against the Rs 6 bus ticket.

While the BEST has already started two ring route buses -- Bandra to BKC telephone exchange and Kurla to MMRDA building -- those travelling by these buses feel that paying Rs 10 for the ride is expensive.  

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