Navi-Mumbai: In order to compete with BEST buses, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport (NMMT) is planning to rationalise fares for the Vashi-Koparkhairane stretch. The stretch is one of the busiest routes of NMMT and over 50 buses run along the stretch.
In 2019-20, BEST brought down its fare sharply to attract commuters and they received a positive response as the number of riders increased. However, over the period, this impacted the number of commuters in NMMT buses and especially after it launched a large number of air-conditioned electric buses for which the minimum fare is higher than BEST buses.
As per the plan, NMMT will rationalise fares and likely charge from Rs5-15 for the Vashi-Koparkhairane stretch.
According to officials, at present, there are 134 buses operating and over 550 trips are made on the Vashi-Koparkhairane route. Out of 143 buses, 55 buses run between Vashi railway station and Koparkhairane directly and make 240 trips.
Similarly, around 79 buses, going to different places like Panvel, Taloja, Kalamboli, and Kharghar cross the Vashi-Koparkhairane stretch.
“In order to attract more commuters, there is a plan to introduce reasonable fare,” said an official, adding that a competitive fare is likely to bring more commuters and demand will increase.
Ticketless travelling worries NMMT
Meanwhile, in the first six months of the year, NMMT collected Rs2.80 lakh fine from ticketless travelers. A total of 1626 ticketless travellers were caught during the period. Ticketless travelling is one of the major reasons for the financial losses of the civic transport wing.
Now, NMMT has revised the penalty for ticketless travellers. Previously, violators were fined Rs100 for ordinary buses and Rs200 for air-conditioned buses. Now, the fine has been increased to Rs157 for ordinary buses and Rs310 for air-conditioned buses. This increment in fines has contributed to the growth in revenue from fare evasion penalties.