Why Mumbaikars are moving away from BEST

With the BEST grappling with huge losses, and actually mulling about making the city pay to make up for deficit, commuters talk about switching to alternate modes of transport

The BEST buses which after the railway trains in the city provide the best public transport connectivity, have seen a huge fall in commuter traffic.

The BEST is suffering from a deficit of a whopping Rs 5,537 crore. File pic
The BEST is suffering from a deficit of a whopping Rs 5,537 crore. File pic

Kimaya Patil, Gorai resident says, “Buses are perpetually late. There have been a number of times that I have had to go to the depot and complain. That has not helped though.

Kimaya Patil
Kimaya Patil

Often the drivers and conductors are lazing around or having tea and snacks, which is very annoying. I now take a private cab and travel with a few other people who live and work in my area.”

Michael Fernandes
Michael Fernandes

The in frequent bus service has lead Michael Fernandes, airline employee, to take a share an autorickshaw to the international airport at Sahar, where he works. He says, “Buses are very irregular. Share a rickshaw is more convenient. Rickshaws are always waiting and the fare is hardly a few rupees more than the bus.”

Neihaa Singh Raghuvanshi
Neihaa Singh Raghuvanshi

Neihaa Singh Raghuvanshi who works at Powai, says she has switched to the Metro instead of the BEST. “The metro seats are in a much better condition. There is no hassle of fighting for seats because there is a compartment reserved for women. Metro and bus fares and the air condition makes a big difference. Commuting by Metro also means less jerks because there is no rash driving.”

Rommell Saldhana
Rommell Saldhana

For college student Rommell Saldhana, it is the bickering that has put him off. “The fight for change with the conductor is really ends up spoiling my mornings. The conductors never have change even after doing so many trips. It is very tough to give Rs 8 in coins. At least, by train or rickshaw I do not have to face these tantrums.”

Jennifer Menezes D'costa
Jennifer Menezes D'costa

A signature campaign to improve BEST bus services in the Mahakali Caves area has been in vain says, Jennifer Menezes D'costa. The travel industry professional says, “The drivers are rash and often do not stop at the designated stops. There is a need for drivers and conductors to go to etiquette class. carpool it is much better than the BEST buses.”

The prospect of having to pay for the deficit suffered by the BEST transport arm, in electricity bills is “crazy” says teacher Shafraz Khan. The Mulund resident asks, “In the summers the bill is anyway much more. Why should we pay for the BEST’s ineffective service? Rather than bringing about improvements they are thinking of these ridiculous ways to harass us.”

Jamshed Pawa, Worli resident says, “They have already started overcharging us. Better for them to stop the service rather than make us pay for electricity at the cost of gold.. The bus service has a lot of potential but sadly it is badly managed and run.”

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