Mumbai: BEST to get more AC buses, app, and smart card by year-end

The cash-strapped Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) is all set to revamp itself. The BEST, by the end of the year, will have more air-conditioned (AC) buses, an app to alert passengers and smart card.

According to the Hindustan Times, the BEST general manager Surendrakumar Bagde announced this while addressing a press conference ahead of BEST’s foundation day on August 7. Bagde said they have already started testing the app that has been developed as part of their Intelligent Transport Management System (ITMS). “Automated dispatch of buses has started at all depots. The work at all traffic chowkies is done online. All buses have been fitted with GPS to track their location and speed,” said Bagde, hinting at the launch of the app in a month or two.

BEST Undertaking may become the first in the city to be part of the One Nation One Card ticket. The ticket is a single one for all types of public transport on the lines of the Oyster Card in London. With the common card filled through a wallet, commuters will be able to use it on the Indian Railways, local and outstation trains, Metro lines and on BEST buses, along with other uses such as shopping. “We will start the pilot on a few routes initially and take a call of expanding it,” Bagde told the Hindustan Time, adding BEST is working with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) to develop an automatic fare collection system and Bharat Electricals Limited to develop the Electronic Ticket Issuing Machines (ETIM).

The BEST will acquire 1,650 new air-conditioned (AC) buses by the year-end, including 400 AC buses, for which they have got a nod from the BEST panel. The BEST has also invited tenders for the remaining 1,250 buses.

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