Mumbai: Saeed Mirza joins the movement to save BEST from financial ruin
Film director Saeed Mirza joins citizens in plea to save BEST buses from financial ruin
"We have dehumanised the city by not thinking about public transport. Everyone on this planet cannot have a car," said Saeed Mirza, National Award-winning director, while releasing a 'People's Plan' to save the BEST Undertaking on Tuesday. Mirza said he had memories of bus rides during his college days, and the 'biradari' of commuters onboard.
The plan was presented by Aamchi Mumbai, Aamchi BEST, a platform of citizens for public transport. It argues that the real crisis affecting BEST today is the fall in ridership, and proposes concrete measures to reverse this drop. Secondly, it shows how the gap between BEST's costs and revenues can be financed without placing any burden on citizens.
The plan also pointed out that the municipal commissioner has demanded that BEST implement a series of measures before he provides it financial assistance. However, these measures — route cancellation, fleet reduction, fare hikes, contracting out —will actually further restrict BEST services in quantity and quality. Various prominent citizens — urban planners, transport experts, environmental activists, cultural figures — have expressed concern at these plans.
Wife Jennifer Mirza's tram memories
'I was on the city's last tram ride. I remember the evening of March 31, 1964, when I took that last double decker tram ride from Dadar to VT (now CSTM). In my school days, trams were the convenient way to travel. One of the key attractions on Republic and Independence Day was to go on trams and BEST buses to look for buildings lit in tricolour lighting. I still take two-hour bus journeys from Bandra to Colaba. It is the best way to travel in this city.'
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