Closed bridges take a toll on BEST revenue
With several bridges in the city closed for repairs, more and more people are staying away from BEST bus service. The BEST administration has realised that with the closure of bridges at Ghatkopar, Juhu, Oshiwara and Andheri, the Undertaking is suffering losses to the tune of Rs 6-7 lakh per day per depot.
This comes at a time when BEST is struggling with the drop in passenger strength and revenue loss.
Sources in the BEST said that as the bridges are not available for the buses to ply; the buses are being diverted which is now leading to longer travel time. The buses are being diverted at Juhu, Ghatkopar after the closure of bridges. On the Gokhale bridge in Andheri; the private buses are running, however, our buses have been barred from operating. All this is leading to losses (Rs 60,000 per bus) on a particular route after the diversion,” said Sunil Ganacharya, member, BEST Committee.
The committee members on Tuesday raised concerns over the losses. They want BEST administration to talk to SNDT University and seek permission to allow them to run small Midi buses. “I did not know that private buses are running on Gokhale bridge. Currently, we are working on shorter diversions wherever the bridges have been shut,” said Dr Surendrakumar Bagde, general manager, BEST Undertaking.
“The BEST should evaluate their performance based on ridership. At present, the number of daily commuters has dropped and so has the fleet. It is namely due to road congestion,” said Hussain Indorewala, member, AMAB.
The representatives from Aamchi Mumbai, Aamchi BEST – a group of Mumbaikars who have been trying to revive the Undertaking.