In welcome news for over 60,000 daily commuters travelling in public transport buses operated by the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC), the proposed hike in fares might not see the light of the day anytime soon.
Citing steep increase in fuel prices and spare parts, the civic administration had tabled a proposal before the general body seeking an upward revision of fare structure in the range of Rs. 4 to Rs. 13. However, the proposal was not taken up for discussion on Tuesday by the BJP-rulers indicating that the hike was put on the back burner for now.
One of the main reasons for not giving a green signal to the fare hike is said to be the upcoming elections which are scheduled to be held in August, this year, officials said. Along with the proposal seeking nod for fare hike in regular buses, the civic administration had also mooted the idea of reducing fares of air-conditioned buses. Consequently, fares of air-conditioned buses will also remain unchanged and commuters will have to continue to pay more money for cool rides.
The average number of commuters travelling in MBMT buses on a daily basis has already crossed the 60,000 mark. The civic administration has a total of 74 buses including- 59 regular buses, 5 air-conditioned Volvo buses and 10 Midi buses in its existing fleet. Currently 71 out of the 74 buses are plying on 19 routes in and out of the twin-city. The public transport sector was one of the worst hit due to the pandemic and the hike was needed to compensate for losses.