BrihanMumbai Electric Supply & Transport (BEST), after suffering from losses has increased the hike on Mumbaikars. The question is, why should we pay more?
The buses are majorly used by school or college goers and people who belong to the middle class. The hike will pose to be a burden for all those who have a fixed budget over commute. The BEST cannot simply charge more, just because they need to resolve their issues.
For school goers, the hike in fares ranges from 16- 66%. The monthly pass for students up to class 5 will cost between Rs.150-Rs.200, quarterly R.450 to R.600, and six-monthly R.750 to Rs. 1,000. These fares were earlier applicable to students from class 6 to 10, which too, have been increased to Rs.250, Rs.750 and Rs. 1,250 for the mentioned brackets respectively.
Until now, the BEST’s subsidy to school and college students, senior citizens, blind persons, and physically handicapped commuters amounts to about Rs.41.7 crore. However, parent organisation, BMC has asked the Undertaking to rationalise its costs to bring down its losses, of which the hike in fares is one such decision.
Voices are being raised against this silly action by BEST. People from all sections of the society and from various parts of Mumbai have spoken out. Their disappointment clearly reflects in their comments, read below.
Simply Greedy- No Quality
“Instead of introducing a hike in fares for students and long distances, BEST should instead focus on providing quality service to its commuters. Decisions such as increasing the frequency of buses on busy routes and maintenance of buses are more important if it intends to attract crowds to build revenue and come out of its losses.”
—Hanmant Wanole, Santa Cruz
Service to the People; Really?
“Hiking prices for long distance journeys is okay but increasing the fares for students should be avoided. The school and college students who mostly use BEST’s bus services do not belong to affluent families. Wouldn’t they be using private bus services if they did? It would mean an unnecessary burden on the parents of these students.”
—Salman Khan, Bandra
Good Time to Privatise?
“BEST’s management should be privatised. Every time they want to hike fares, they put forth the story of financial troubles. Rather than resorting to this each time, BEST should create other avenues for income generation like transport of private sector employees, school children, offering group discounts for people wanting to go on short trips. They could event reinvent the look of their buses — make them more airy, comfortable and disabled and senior citizen-friendly.”
—Apeksha Vora, Dadar
An Issue of Government Apathy
“BEST’s decision to increase the fares for commuters to make up for their losses is wrong. Students should be given concession as much as possible. Increasing the fares for students is not acceptable. Besides, BEST must improve its facilities first to target commuters by increasing the fares. BEST has failed to suffice the needs of the commuters and has become an issue of government apathy.”
—Sohel F Fidai, Santa Cruz
The Life Support for BEST- Price Hike!
“BEST’s decision to hike fares, especially for long distances, to take care of their losses is in the right direction. When the organisation is facing such losses, the only option left is to hike fares to increase their income and to mitigate deficit. However, there are chances that BEST may face the heat for its decision and commuters could choose to opt for other means of transport due to the increased fares.”
—Rohit Ahuja, Versova
Better Planning, Less Corruption
“It is silly of the BEST to hike the fares. In a city like ours, there is no shortage of commuters. With better planning and less corruption, it’s easy for the BEST to make money without increasing fares. You cannot pass the burden on students. And if they increase fares, they should also match up with the service. The state government should ensure they give privileges to those who do not have them, for any mode of public transport by focusing on just breaking even with their expenses.”
—Harish Iyer, Navi Mumbai
Burdensome in Acute Times
“The fare hike will further hit people who are already suffering from the effects of inflation and price rise in other areas of daily life. It is the responsibility of the state government to ensure that public transport is affordable to citizens. Hence the government should help BEST in emerging from its financial crunch instead of allowing the undertaking to pass its burden on to the commuters.”
—K Praveish Vishwanath Aiyar, Sion
Unfair for Students
“It is better to leave the future of the country, that is students, burden free to have a safe and successful future of our generation. Hiking fares for them is unfair. Also, BEST’s long-distance routes are usually used by a group of the population who are already average on their income, hence increasing the fare on these routes will further burden them which is not advisable, especially if it’s a move for BEST to make up their own losses.”
—Prithvi Mhaske, Andheri
This is what Mumbaikars have in their mind. What’s your say? Express your thoughts in the comment section.