To boost ridership and income, the civic-run Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) has reduced buses fare in Mumbai. This gave Auto-rickshaws and black-and-yellow cabs a run for their money. According to DNA, after BEST's move now Auto-rickshaws and black-and-yellow cabs, that ply on share-basis on fixed routes, have reduced their fares by Rs 3 to 5 per passenger.
A taxi union leader AL Quadros told DNA that he had heard of some cabbies lowering fares for share-cabs on the Dadar Station-KEM hospital route and Charkop to Kandivali Station route. Shashank Rao, president of Mumbai Auto Rickshawmen's Union told the leading daily, "It is possible that drivers might have decided to do this on their own. It needs to be checked if these share auto stands have been approved in the first place."
The BEST has reduced the minimum non-AC bus fare from Rs 8 to Rs 5 for the first five kilometres. The maximum fare for this class has been capped at Rs 20. For BEST AC buses, the minimum fare has been brought down from Rs 20 to Rs 6 and the maximum fare has been kept at Rs 25. The BEST hopes that this move will draw people back to buses which has lost commuters to autos and share taxis.
Meanwhile, the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) saw a good 29.31% rise in daily passengers on Tuesday, two days after the price drop of Rs 5; however, their earnings came down by 31.55%. Tuesday, the first day of the new ticket price, saw about 7 lakh more people taking the bus. For the first time in several years, the number of daily BEST passengers has also increased.