The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking committee approved a hike in fares for long distances, daily and monthly bus passes and passes for school children to cut losses. However, it has decided not to change minimum bus fare, which is Rs 8 and risk of losing passengers to share autorickshaws and taxis.
The BEST committee on Tuesday approved a Rs 1-12 hike in fare beyond 6 km and a steep hike of Rs 50-220 for monthly passes. The slab for students concessional passes will increase by Rs 50 and the daily bus pass fare will increase from Rs 70-90. Meanwhile, the fare hike is likely to be implemented within a next couple of months, once it is approved by BMC general body. The BEST Committee approved the proposal that hikes monthly bus passes for students up to Class 5 from Rs 150 to Rs 200, quarterly from Rs 450 to Rs 600 and six-monthly from Rs 750 to Rs 1000. These fares were earlier for students in Class 6 to 10, which too, has been increased to Rs 250, Rs 750 and Rs 1,250 respectively.
The fare for 6 km, which was Rs14 earlier has been increased to Rs15; fare for 8km has been increased from Rs 16 to Rs 18. The daily buses pass for the entire city will cost Rs 90 instead of the current Rs 70. The fare for a pass for the suburbs increased from Rs 50 to Rs 60 and for the island city it has been increased from Rs 40 to Rs 50. The monthly non-AC bus pass has been increased from Rs 880 to Rs 1000 and the school bus pass has been increased from Rs 150 to Rs 200.
Meanwhile, BEST will also rationalise routes to earn additional Rs 100 crore in revenue. Currently, only four of the 485 routes are earning a profit. While BEST is running into losses on 385 routes, it is just about breaking even on 91 routes, as per its latest bulletin. The transport utility also plans to scrap 1,703 old buses to cut expenditure on maintenance. Instead, it will run 1,250 buses on lease. The undertaking hopes to reduce its annual deficit to Rs. 228 crore from the current Rs. 880 crore.