On This Day in History! August 7, 1947 — BMC started BEST services

On this day in history, August 7, in the year 1947, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) started the BEST services in Mumbai. The introduction of BEST services under the management of BMC was a long process.

At first, Bombay Tramway Company Limited was set up in 1873 during the British rule. The company was licensed to run a horsecar tramway service in the city under ‘Bombay Tramways Act, 1874. In May 1874, the horse-drawn tram started plying on the Colaba–Pydhone via Crawford Market, and Bori Bunder to Pydhonie via Kalbadevi routes.

In 1899, the Bombay Tramway Company applied to municipality for the operation of electrically operated trams. But, due to high investment, the company suggested BMC to takeover tramways. Instead, BMC decided to take over the company but met with several legal problems in the matter.

Later in 1904, the British Electric Traction Company (England) applied for a license to supply electricity to Mumbai. It got “The Bombay Electric License” on 31 July 1905 signed by Bombay Tramways Company, the Bombay Municipality and its agent, the Brush Electrical Company. Later, in 1905, Bombay Electric Supply & Tramway Company Limited (BEST) was formed and it bought the assets of Bombay Tramway Company. Therefore, was granted monopoly to run electric supply service and an electric tram service.

Due to high rate of accident in the tram service, it was decided in 1926 by the BEST company that it would rather start a bus service. The service started running in 1926.  In 1947, the BMC acquired the assets of operation of tramways and distribution of electricity in Mumbai.

By mutual agreement, BMC also took over the operation of Bus services, which was run by Bombay Electric Supply and Transport Company. Thus, the Bombay Electric Supply and Tramways Company was renamed ‘Bombay Electric Supply & Transport’.  With the renaming of Bombay to Mumbai in 1995, the organisation was renamed Brihanmumbai Electric Supply & Transport (BEST).

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