At a meeting on Wednesday, RTA committee members scrutinised the proposal and gave the go-ahead.Plans afoot to divert buses to routes with high patronage, based on the response of commuters to new fares.
Good news for commuters. Travel on BEST buses will become cheaper from next week, as the proposal of revised fare put forth by its administration has received the nod from the state’s Regional Transport Authority (RTA).
According to BEST officials, an official notification will be issued in a day or two, after which the new fares will be implemented across all routes. “If the notification is issued in two days, there will be the weekend and implementation will only be possible by Monday or Tuesday,” BEST Chairman Anil Patankar said.
With reduced fares, BEST hopes to increase its ridership, which has come down to 22 lakh commuters per day, the lowest in a decade. BEST aims to bring its daily ridership to at least 42 lakh passengers per day.
Soon BEST also plans to reshuffle its bus fleet, which currently stands at 3,337. An official from BEST said: “Additional buses will be diverted to routes that have high patronage, based on the response of commuters to the fares.”
BEST is also looking to deploy its mini and midi buses in internal routes of business districts of Andheri, Charkop, Govandi and Shivaji Nagar, where regulation length buses cannot go. The mini buses have a seating capacity for 21 people; eight others can stand. Midi buses are slightly larger and have a seating capacity for 31 and 12 standing.
BEST officials are hiring around 450 buses on wet-leasing model and another 80 electric buses that will have equal share of both midi and mini buses.
Premium services between Mumbai and Pune will cost less from July 8. Transport Minister Diwakar Raote on Wednesday said fares for Shivneri and Ashwamedh services will go down by Rs 80 and Rs 120, respectively. Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) officials said there had been a fall in ridership, with passengers opting for interstate taxi services and Ola and Uber cabs. MSRTC had hiked its fares by 18 per cent in June 2018.