Mumbai: Five ‘Heritage Tour’ buses are bringing three times more revenue for the cash-strapped BEST as compared to its daily passenger fleet of 3,651 buses.
These open roof double decker buses are a hit among tourists as well as those wishing to go around the prominent spots of south Mumbai in a span of 90 minutes. One has to pay Rs 150 for hopping on the upper deck while a seat on the lower deck of the bus costs Rs 75.
The overwhelming response to the ‘Heritage Tour’ buses could be gauged by the fact that more than 50,000 people had a jovial ride in the first quarter of the current financial year. Owing to the high footfalls, the BEST earned more than Rs 7.5 lakh between April and June end.
Explaining the popularity of these buses in statistical terms, a BEST official said, “On an average, daily collection of one passenger BEST bus is around Rs 7,000-Rs 8,000, while ‘Heritage Tour’ bus’ average daily earning is around Rs 21,000; almost three times as compared to passenger buses.”
The revenue is a sigh of relief for the BEST Undertaking which is incurring an average daily loss of around Rs 6 crore.
“As of now, 500-700 people are using our ‘Heritage Tour’ services on a daily basis, which is quite good,” exclaimed the official.
Similarly, BEST general manager Lokesh Chandra said, “The tour bus service is getting very good response from Mumbaikars. The passengers are praising these services, saying nothing can get better than this.”
• BEST’s daily loss: Rs 6 crore
• Pax bus fleet: 3,651
• Number of ‘Heritage’ buses: 5
• Daily collection of pax buses: Rs 7k-Rs 8k
• Daily collection of ‘Heritage’ buses: Rs 20k-Rs 21k