Closed bridges take a toll on BEST rev­enue

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE - Shashank Rao [email protected]­

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.

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