AC BEST bus
Representational Image

This independence day the BEST has a surprise for all Mumbaikars; It is planning to re-introduce AC busses from August 15th.

The new hybrid busses have been procured from the MMRDA at ‘zero cost’, as per reports by Times of India. What’s more the MMRDA has also agreed to bear operational losses that arise from plying these buses.

At the panel meeting, BEST committee member Sunil Ganacharya, said, "So, this means the undertaking will run an AC bus with zero losses for the first time ever."

Also read: Mumbai: BEST decides to 'temporarily' pull the plug on loss-making AC buses

The BEST had stopped operations of more than 260 AC Cerita buses that had led to annual losses of Rs 100 crores to the BEST.

Ganacharya also said, "AC buses will be back on roads and benefit commuters, especially office-goers in Bandra-Kurla Complex."
But, don’t get too excited just yet, the BEST general manager Surendrakumar Bagde said that the AC buses will be introduced in phases with the first five buses being launched on August 15th. He said, "We are glad there will be no operational losses and we can claim the loss in revenue from the state government once every two months. It will help us run the services properly."

What’s the deal?

As per its agreement with MMRDA, the BEST is all set to get 25 new AC hybrid busses in phases. Each bus costs around Rs 1.67 crores and has a sitting capacity of 31 commuters. It also allows for 28 standing commuters per trip. The fares are likely to be set at a minimum of Rs 15 to Rs 25

Read all about the upheavals the BEST has been through here.