City should try and save its big red buses

Updated: Jan 11, 2019, 05:40 IST | mid-day correspondent

It is apparent that the BEST, once shining bright in the city's commuting crown is losing its sheen. Reports are rife that the service has been losing a lot of money. There has to be a concerted effort now to save this service and find a solution

City should try and save its big red buses

The big red bus, Mumbai's most recognisable transport symbol was off the roads and continued to. be so, at the time this went to press. Whatever be the status, whether they resume plying by the time you read this, or are still conspicuous by their absence, the city has a serious problem on its hands with reference to the BEST. Commuters were hard pressed to find alternative transport, with people held to ransom as the other transport options took advantage of a desperate situation.

It is apparent that the BEST, once shining bright in the city's commuting crown is losing its sheen. Reports are rife that the service has been losing a lot of money. There has to be a concerted effort now to save this service and find a solution.

The movers and shakers of Mumbai transport and civic services now have to see that the BEST becomes economically viable and regains its lustre. Few cities in the world can boast of a public transport facility like this. It literally reaches every corner of this sprawling megapolis. Wracked by so many problems off late, it has been forced to cut its losses and its decline is manifest in so many ways, the latest strike being one of them.

We remember the gallant BEST coming to the Mumbaikar's rescue during floods and political rallies where so many buses plied amidst threats of violence. Experts need to come up with a game plan for its immediate endangered present and to pre-empt extinction. Is there a way to re-invent this and ensure its survival? Do we need a big change like private players in the service? There is something to be said for saving the big red bus, mobile manifestation of the Mumbai spirit and resilience of its people.

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