Mumbai, Apr 1 ():Passengers travelling in BEST buses will have to pay Re one in addition and Rs 5 more for AC bus from Monday, April 1 as bus fares for regular buses have been increased to Rs 6 and Rs 20 for AC buses.
People travelling short distances will be the most affected, as the hike in fare will be applicable only for the first two slabs — 2 km and 3 km distance, said officials of the BEST. People travelling long distance need not worry as the fare remains to be the same, added the officials.
General Manager of the BEST, Om Prakash Gupta said that the plan to hike the bus fare was taken a couple of months back, after getting the approval from the municipal corporation and the Regional Transport Authority.
He further said that people travelling up to 2 km distance will be paying from Rs 5 to Rs 6, while passengers travelling a distance up to 3 km will be paying from Rs 7 to Rs 8. Gupta clarified that besides these, there will be no further increase in bus fares.
The hike in the bus fare has come after the BEST has incurred an annual burden of over Rs 43 crore following the hike in diesel price, said Om Prakash. In the previous year, a hike of 85 paise/kg on CNG was observed.
The BEST decided to produce an additional income of over Rs 70 crore yearly, with the recent hike in fare and will also be saving another Rs 1.5 crore in a month by sending nearly 550 buses to the retail diesel pumps for re-fuelling, said the authorities.
However, expressing concern over the hike in bus fare, former BEST committee member Ravi Raja said, the BEST could have come up with some other plan instead of giving burden to the common man. There are so many ways to make money and save losses, added Mr Ravi.