Loss-making MBMT buses face dead end
For, people living in the twincity, an efficient public transport system continues to remain a distant dream. While the fate of appointing a private operating agency continues to hang in balance, the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Transport (MBMT) authority which operates the buses on its own strength — goes from bad to worse- due to the mounting losses incurred by the civic body.
As per official statistics, the transport wing registers an average ticket sale of Rs 1 crore per month, however the expenses towards operation, maintenance, fuel prices and wages currently stand at Rs. 1.81 crore.
Consequently the transport authority is burdened with losses amounting Rs.81 lakh every month which translates into cumulative annual losses of nearly Rs10 crore.
Apart from the cold shoulder response by the civic body towards boosting the prospects of the loss making transport utility, no significant rise from ticket fare earnings have added to the woes. Apart from a steep hike in expenses towards manpower and maintenance, the cost of fuel has gone up from Rs.50 per liter in 2016 to Rs.70 in 2018. However, thanks to the political unwillingness, fares have remain static for the past several years. “Despite being aware of the ground realities, the higherup’s have been delaying payments needed each month to subsidize the transport service,” revealed an officer requesting anonymity.
With the latest addition of air-conditioned Volvos, the number of buses with the public transport authority has gone up to 57 including regular and mini buses. However with not more than 40 buses are plying on roads as the ad-hoc arrangements are desperately in need of funds, skill to fine tune the much needed utility.