Mumbai: BEST losing Rs 2.55 crore on 3,900 buses daily

Stats reveal that undertaking earns Rs 13 after spending Rs 22 per commuter; sources claim earnings have dropped further

There is nothing new in Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) incurring heavier losses with each passing day.

Sources claimed that while the undertaking earns up to Rs 3.73 crore per day, it spends Rs 6.28 crore daily to operate its fleet. File pic
Sources claimed that while the undertaking earns up to Rs 3.73 crore per day, it spends Rs 6.28 crore daily to operate its fleet. File pic

As per the latest figures thrown up by an internal report, it has been learnt that the undertaking is losing Rs 2.55 crore per day for operating 3,900 buses across Mumbai. The report was submitted in March-end following an in-depth analysis of the BEST administration’s financial health.

mid-day editorial: BEST, start living up to your acronym

Sources claimed that while the undertaking earns up to Rs 3.73 crore per day, it spends Rs 6.28 crore daily to operate its fleet. For the 2015-16 fiscal alone, BEST incurred losses amounting to Rs 162 crore.

What stats say
As per data available with the BEST, while the undertaking earns R13 per commuter it spends R22 per commuter. However, sources claimed earnings from every bus have plummeted due to heavy traffic across city streets. The number of kilometres covered by a single bus had dropped from 214 km to 183 km. Also, the passenger footfall has taken a massive hit — from over 40 lakh to about 32 lakh. The average occupancy of the buses on weekdays — Monday to Friday — is as high as 90 per cent, but decreases by 10 per cent over the weekends.

Official speak
Speaking to mid-day, a BEST officer said, “The mileage of buses had dropped from 3.5 km per litre to 2.7 km per litre, thus increasing fuel expenses. The BEST has a fleet of nearly 3,000 CNG-run and 1,200 diesel-operated vehicles. So to curb the losses, the undertaking is planning to hire buses and keep the expenditure — especially on maintenance — in check.”

Read Story: Mumbaikars to pay for BEST losses through high electricity bills?

The officer added that in order to make profits buses need to improve their mileage, which is impossible unless they get dedicated lanes.

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