Mumbai: Despite fare cut, the maths doesn't add up for BEST

Updated: Jul 11, 2019, 07:38 IST | Rajendra B. Aklekar

Bus, ticket checkers and supervisory staff outside Bandra station were found standing with placards at share auto stands to create awareness about the fare cut

Mumbai: Despite fare cut, the maths doesn't add up for BEST
A BEST ticket checker outside Bandra West station, with a placard informing commuters about the cut in bus fares. Pic /Pradeep Dhivar

The slashing of the minimum fare to Rs 5 has led to a 30 percent rise in the number of passengers, but a decline in revenue by 31 percent as per the figures released by the BEST Undertaking on Wednesday.

A BEST spokesperson said the number of total passengers would be higher and losses lower as the figures did not include those holding seasonal passes.

Bus, ticket checkers and supervisory staff outside Bandra station were found standing with placards at share auto stands to create awareness about the fare cut. mid-day had highlighted on Wednesday how the 16-month delay in procuring buses had led to problems for BEST as more and more passengers have been gathering at BEST bus stops, with not enough buses to cater to the demand. In recent days, BEST bus passenger figures had come down to as low as 22 lakh as compared to 45 lakh a decade ago.

Statistics revealed that Magathane Depot recorded the highest loss in terms of revenue, of about 40%, and also the lowest gain (14%) in daily passengers as compared to 25 other depots.

The BEST implemented the new fare structure on Tuesday, with base fares ranging from Rs 5 and Rs 20 for non-air-conditioned buses and Rs 6 and Rs 25 for air-conditioned buses across four slabs: 0 to 5 km, 5 to 10 km, 10 to 15 km, and journeys beyond 15 km.

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